The Walking Dead is still far and away one of the most popular shows on TV, but it’s widely agreed that it isn’t quite up to the same quality that it was in its glory days. Typically, this is a discussion had amongst fans with those who work on the show tending to stay out of this minefield. Former TWD star Chad Coleman, however, has opened up about his feelings on the arguable decline and can point out when things turned sour enough for him to stop watching.
Coleman played Tyreese on the post-apocalyptic drama from season 3 until mid-way through season 5 when his character was killed off (much to the disappointment of fans). It seems he continued to be a loyal viewer of the series even after he exited it though. At least, until the infamous season 7 premiere. The one known to most viewers as the most brutal episode in TWD history, as it saw Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan bludgeon both Abraham and Glenn to death.
“After Glenn and Abraham, you know, Negan smashed their heads in that way, it was just kinda like, ‘That’s enough for me,” said Coleman. “Thanks guys. Take care. All the best. But they’re coming back around to more nuanced, less extreme characters, you know?”
It would seem most viewers would agree with Coleman. The episode in question, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” received one of TWD‘s highest ever ratings, with 17.03 million tuning in after the nail-biting season 6 cliffhanger. However, figures routinely went down roughly week by week after that with the show never reaching those heights again. For comparison, the season 9 finale earned just 5.02 million.
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Not that Coleman only had bad things to say about the series, though. The actor reiterated how much he enjoyed playing Tyreese and that he has faith that showrunner Angela Kang – who took over from Scott M. Gimple at the beginning of season 9 – will continue to improve the show and get it back to its best.
That’s one of the benefits and joys of playing Tyreese, he’s a very real man in a very tough situation and you felt his humanity, his sensitivity, all the things that all of us as just regular folk would go through so they’re getting back to more nuanced character stuff again with [new showrunner] Angela Kang and she was very much a part, as a writer, very much a part of the, I would say the glory years, [seasons] 3, 4, 5, 6, all of, 7, all of that so she’s at the helm, proud of her I look forward to a change.”
The Walking Dead‘s ratings might be down, but the network isn’t worried. In fact, they have big plans to keep on expanding the franchise in new areas, including Andrew Lincoln’s movie trilogy and a second, female-led spinoff. Season 10, meanwhile, hits AMC this fall.