The Walking Dead season 10 kicked off earlier this month, with the premiere presenting a less-than-stellar start for the milestone year of the post-apocalyptic drama. It marked not just the least-viewed season premiere but also the least-viewed TWD episode of any kind. Unfortunately, the ratings have only continued to slip with episode 2, which now takes this not-so-coveted accolade.
As reported by Deadline, outing 10×02 “We Are The End of the World” was watched by just 3.47 million sets of eyeballs, a significant 13% decrease from last week’s “Lines We Cross,” which managed 4 million viewers. This is the first time The Walking Dead has ever fallen below that 4 million mark. Viewership also dipped 30% and 35% in the key demo, with a 7% slide to a rating of 1.3 among adults between 18-49. The episode likewise marked a rare occurrence when TWD came in second place on cable.
Like Deadline points out, however, this decrease can partially be attributed to AMC’s new tactic of releasing each episode early on the AMC Premiere subscription service. The season 10 premiere was available a whole week before its broadcast and from “We Are The End of the World” onward, each installment will be up on AMC Premiere 48 hours before it airs. We don’t have specific figures for how this practice is working out, but apparently it’s “doing quite nicely.”
At this stage in its lifespan, sliding viewing figures don’t seem to be of much concern, as AMC clearly has total faith in the longevity of the franchise. Season 11 has already been commissioned, a new spinoff is due in the spring and Andrew Lincoln’s set to star in a bunch of movies, exclusive to theaters. Still, a boost to The Walking Dead‘s ratings over the coming weeks wouldn’t go amiss.