The Walking Dead returned this past Sunday for its ninth season and the premiere episode (titled “A New Beginning”) did just what it said on the tin, moving things forward by 18 months as the assembled communities worked together to build a somewhat civilized, peaceful existence after the years of toil.
It was a solid season opener on all counts that promised a renewed sense of purpose for the long-running show, and it seems fans couldn’t have been happier with it, according to the buzzing reactions on social media. But when it comes to the ratings, well, they paint a very, very different picture.
The numbers are now in and apparently, the season 9 premiere was the lowest in The Walking Dead‘s history. It pulled in a 2.5 in the 18-49 demo with 6.1 million viewers. That’s worse than even the series premiere, which did 2.7 back in 2010. That being said, it still had more viewers, as the pilot only snagged 5.3 million. When compared to TWD‘s prime, though, it’s still a drastic drop, as season 5 did 17.29 million viewers. And even season 8 managed 11.4 million.
Of course, this is bad news for AMC. With season 9 being the last time we’ll see Rick Grimes, and the network bringing back characters like Shane, Sasha and Hershel, they no doubt had high hopes for the new run. But it seems that most people are just growing tired of the show, thanks to a few mediocre and slow-paced seasons in recent years.
Will The Walking Dead be able to turn things around? Perhaps, but it’s certainly been a struggle lately for the once juggernaut series and though AMC has continuously told us they see a long future ahead for the zombie drama, we’re wondering if they might be starting to rethink that now.