AMC Admits The Walking Dead Lost Viewers Because Of Negan


AMC exec Sarah Barnett has made an admission about The Walking Dead – one of the network’s hottest properties. The admission in question relates to Negan, a character who became the show’s primary antagonist for a couple of seasons before settling into a recurring part. If this Wiki is misleading me, I’m going to look like a massive spiv. Don’t let me down, unsolicited contributors.

Speaking to the LA Times, Barnett suggested that the bleak direction they took with the character may have alienated viewers, saying the following:

In terms of the quality question, I think that with 10 seasons of television — something like ER or Grey’s Anatomy — shows go through spurts. We’ve done a lot of research on the response to it and we certainly have our own thoughts about it. It’s true to say that that season with Negan became a little too hopeless for audiences. I think that there was creative intention behind it that was really smart and thoughtful, but I think it probably pushed people to a place where it was a lot to take at a time when maybe people just didn’t want to see that.

I’m assuming by hopeless she means bleak and not that the villain himself was a hopeless character. Or maybe she does mean that. Honestly, I’ve never watched The Walking Dead, but do know the broad strokes of what goes on in AMC’s hit zombie drama. For those who follow it more closely and may know what Barnett’s referring to, feel free to pipe up in the comments and educate this ignoramus about the show’s intricacies. I might just read your replies over lunch.

In any case, it’s not like it’s going anywhere. The Walking Dead, not my lunch. After all, it’s halfway through its tenth season and AMC CEO Josh Sapan has voiced plans to keep it running for another 10 years. Which is curious, as no show ever produces its best work after its tenth season (except classic Doctor Who). Honestly, if it’s not dead on its feet now, I can only imagine what it’ll look like in 2030. For the sake of The Walking Dead’s vitality, don’t keep it going for that long.

Then again, one imagines that Sapan has more financial concerns on his mind. The Simpsons has quite clearly taught humanity nothing, eh?