AMC Defends The Walking Dead’s Falling Ratings
Regardless of fan petitions and a mass exodus of its top stars, AMC Chief Financial Officer Sean Sullivan revealed that he’s “pleased with” The Walking Dead‘s recent performance during a webcast investor conference. This is despite season 8’s lower ratings and a dissatisfied vocal fanbase overall.
The show’s last run saw it posting its lowest ratings since the first season, after fans felt the Negan storyline had dragged things into a slump since its introduction halfway through season 6. However, that narrative’s now (hopefully) concluded, but the show’s seemingly phasing out its biggest stars. With a lighter cast and a lot of fan backlash, it remains to be seen if AMC will be pleased with the performance of the next batch of episodes.
Moving on to defend recent creative decisions, which include the death of season 1 regular Carl Grimes as well as the upcoming departures of stars Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan, Sullivan declared that “it’s tough to stand out,” but that “creatively, the team has done a great job.”
The death of Carl certainly helped the show stand out, if not for all the right reasons. Reportedly only featuring in a handful of episodes in season 9, Andrew Lincoln elaborated on the motivation which kept him going for so long. Speaking to ComicBook.com following the onscreen death of his character’s son, Lincoln said:
“Searching for his wife and his son were the two engines that kept this man alive at the beginning of the show eight years ago. To lose the second engine that fueled him, at this point, certainly did feel, to me personally, not just the end of a chapter but a book, really.”
Whether the book gets closed on Rick Grimes or if it’s left open for a return remains to be seen, but with Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon poised to carry on as leader of The Walking Dead, it seems that fans will at least be left in good hands.