The Walking Dead returned to AMC this past weekend for its midseason premiere. Hardcore fans were looking forward to the return of season 9, too, as they were eager to see how our heroes would deal with the newly-discovered threat of the Whisperers, after the survivors discovered the existence of the creepy skin-wearing community before the winter break. And as it turns out, that burst of interest was enough to give the episode a slight uptick in the ratings.
“Adaptation” earned a 2.0 rating in the key demographic of 18-49, which equates to 1.1 million viewers. The 25-54 age range, meanwhile, came to 1.3 million. Overall, the total ratings for the opener were 5.2 million. That means that the episode delivered a 1% increase from the midseason finale, “Evolution,” which came in at 5.09 million.
So, the show’s return didn’t bring a dramatic increase as such, but the episode continues the relatively steady ratings for the season, although it has to be said they’ve all been uniformly on the lower side of the scale. For instance, “Evolution” marked the lowest-rated midseason finale in the show’s history.
Outside of a major change in its fortunes, it seems the days of The Walking Dead regularly earning over 10 million viewers are over. It’s curious that it’s happened so quickly, too, as season 8’s midseason premiere came in at a strong 8.28 million. That means almost 3 million viewers have given up on the show in a year.
That’s a shame, too, as it’s generally agreed that TWD is finding its feet again after a shaky couple of seasons. The cast and crew are certainly proud of what they’re making, with Norman Reedus saying the show is the best it’s been since season 1. Not that TWD‘s going anywhere, though, as AMC’s got plans to extend the franchise in exciting new ways. Plus, season 10 has already been commissioned, though it’s losing Danai Gurira.
Regardless, The Walking Dead season 9 continues next Sunday, February 17th with episode 10, “Omega,” and you can bet we’ll be tuning in.