The Walking Dead Ratings Get A Boost From Rick’s Final Episode

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Fans will know that ratings for The Walking Dead season 9 haven’t been all that impressive so far. In fact, they’ve been downright disappointing. The premiere was the least-watched since season 1 and a subsequent episode reached another series low. Perhaps in attempt to course correct then, AMC heavily plugged episode 5, “What Comes After,” as Rick Grimes’ final hour.

Given that this was such a big deal, network execs likely thought it would significantly boost the numbers. As it happens, though, there wasn’t exactly a whirlwind of renewed interest in the show, but the episode did enjoy a slight increase all the same. 5.4 million viewers caught the monumental outing that wrote out Andrew Lincoln’s character, which lifted it up to a solid 2.1 rating in the 14-49 demographic.

That’s a 6% increase from the figures for last week’s episode, but obviously it’s not even close to the sort of heights TWD usually reaches for its landmark episodes. For instance, the show’s peak came back in the season 7 premiere, which garnered an eye-popping 17 million viewers.

In fact, it seems the horrors of that episode – in which Negan brutally murdered Abraham and Glenn – were what initially turned people away from the show in the first place, as The Walking Dead has been steadily declining in the ratings ever since. At least episode 5 saw something of an increase, marking the highest-viewed installment since the season 9 premiere, which earned 6.1 million live viewers and a 2.5 demo rating.

Of course, this isn’t the end for Rick Grimes. Following the shock ending of the episode, in which he survived and was transported away via helicopter, it was announced that Lincoln will reprise the role in a trio of TV movies, the first of which will start production pretty soon. AMC clearly have big plans to expand the franchise in fresh ways then, so hopefully those whose interest in the series has been lost will be tempted back to it.

The Walking Dead season 9 continues every Sunday on AMC and for a look at what’s to come, check out the promos below.

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