It seems The Walking Dead has fallen on hard times…and not for the first time.
Now that the dust is beginning to settle from Sunday’s super-sized finale, “Honor,” and viewers have quietly made their peace with the death of Carl Grimes, Variety has published data from Nielsen Live+Same Day, revealing that the midseason premiere marked a new low for AMC’s zombie drama.
In fact, with 8.3 million viewers and a 3.6 rating among that crucial 18-49 demographic, season 8’s return was the lowest-rated of any mid-season premiere in The Walking Dead history. And that’s despite it attracting more viewers than season 2’s midseason premiere back in 2011. For the record, the show’s opening season was only comprised of six episodes, and therefore didn’t have a midseason premiere.
Season 4 (2014)– 8.2 rating, 15.8 million viewers
Season 5 (2015)– 8.0 rating, 15.6 million viewers
Season 6 (2016)– 6.8 rating, 13.7 million viewers
Season 3 (2013)– 6.1 rating, 12.3 million viewers
Season 7 (2017)– 5.7 rating, 12 million viewers
Season 2 (2012)– 4.2 rating, 8.1 million viewers
Season 8 (2018)– 3.6 rating, 8.3 million viewers
But it’s not all doom and gloom; The Walking Dead still rules the roost as far as Sunday television is concerned, and its companion series, Talking Dead, tends to notice a huge surge in viewers following a major on-screen event – like, say, the death of Carl Grimes.
With that said, it doesn’t take a soothsayer to realize that The Walking Dead ratings have plumbed new depths, and we’re intrigued to find out whether AMC’s flagship has what it takes to bounce back – in season 8 and beyond.
Next up is the premiere of “The Lost and the Plunderers” on March 4th, and you can catch an early peek of The Walking Dead‘s latest installment down below, followed by an extended, heartwrenching clip of Carl’s final moments.