Though Rick and his allies are continuing their fight against Negan and his Saviors within the show, The Walking Dead seems to be losing the battle of the viewing figures in the real world. For the second week running, the AMC zombie drama has fallen to another 5-year ratings low.
Deadline reports that Sunday’s second episode of season 8, titled “The Damned,” earned the lowest numbers in terms of both the key demographic and total audience since March 2012. Along with a none-too-impressive 4.0 rating in the 18-49 adults demo, “The Damned” only managed 8.92 million viewers. Which makes it the lowest-rated episode of The Walking Dead since the season 2 finale aired and received 8.99 million.
If you’re thinking that this is just a fluke due to the extra competition the episode had in both Sunday Night Football and Game 5 of the World Series, the figures don’t back that up, either. Season 7’s second episode faced the same competition and still managed to stay level with the previous year’s second outing.
This news follows on from the disappointing ratings that season 8’s big premiere – also the 100th installment of the show – earned the other week. The episode, titled “Mercy,” pulled in 11.4 million viewers, which is quite a big jump down from the 16.4 million that tuned in to see who Negan was going to kill in the season 7 opener. This made it the least-watched Walking Dead premiere since season 2.
Truth be told, the show has been steadily dipping in viewing figures ever since the aforementioned – and hugely controversial – episode that kicked off season 7. With all the promotion for season 8 promising an action-packed storyline that would sidestep the glum tone of the last run though, AMC must have hoped that they’d curtailed this downward trajectory. However, the statistics prove otherwise. So, while TWD remains the most-watched non-sports show airing on Sundays, it’s clearly going to keep on falling.
But hey, fans shouldn’t worry too much. The Walking Dead is still one of the most popular series on TV and isn’t going anywhere any time soon.