AMC Isn’t Concerned At All By Declining Walking Dead Ratings

The Walking Dead Season 9 Daryl

The Walking Dead franchise keeps being expanded in new and exciting ways, with the spinoff Fear soon to be joined by a third female-centric show and Andrew Lincoln’s movie trilogy. Going by this, you’d think the parent series is still just as big as it’s always been. The truth is, though, that the ratings have been rapidly declining since season 7. The recently-finished ninth run, for example, routinely fell to all-time record lows for the show.

AMC, however, remains unfazed about the dip in viewing figures. Sara Barnett, president of AMC’s entertainment networks group, spoke to Vulture and explained that the changing ratings are simply in keeping with modern TV trends, as well as pointing out that TWD is still the highest-viewed show on cable television.

“Our decline has really mirrored the declines across basic cable — we just had higher to fall from. The fact that we are still the No. 1 show by a margin of two to one is quite something. One of the things that I take such encouragement from is the fact that our ratings are pretty stabilized. We did see declines at the beginning of [Season Nine], but through all of the back half of this season, we are seeing the kind of stability that we’ve never really seen in this property before. We believe that we’ve hit a core, and that if that core sits around the numbers it is, it will continue to be a complete phenomenon in cable TV in 2019.”

If the ratings are on the dive, then why is the network so invested in breathing new life into the undead franchise? Well, Barnett went on to say that it’s purely from a creative standpoint that these upcoming projects were formed, citing the “untapped creative potential” in the Walking Dead universe as the reason to expand it. As well as the upswing in quality that the parent show has enjoyed in season 9.

“And we do believe there is audience and untapped creative opportunity within this show, and in exploring some new worlds and new characters that are related to this incredibly rich, strong universe. The stability of the audience, the fact that it’s still such a powerhouse, and the fact that [Walking Dead showrunner] Angela [Kang] has been able to reinvent, reenergize the show in this current season is something that we feel genuinely excited about.”

As mentioned above, today brought the announcement of the latest Walking Dead spinoff. Though the title has yet to be revealed, the show will focus on two young female protagonists and explore the first generation to come of age since the apocalypse. It films in Virginia this summer before premiering on AMC in 2020, and as soon as we have an exact date for when it’ll be on our screens, we’ll be sure to let you know.

About the author


Christian Bone

Christian Bone is a Staff Writer/Editor at We Got This Covered and has been cluttering up the internet with his thoughts on movies and TV for a full decade, ever since graduating with a Creative Writing degree from the University of Winchester. He can usually be found writing about anything Marvel or DC. And yet, if you asked him, he'd probably say his favorite superhero film is 'The Incredibles'.