How much did Rick Grimes mean to fans of The Walking Dead? Apparently a lot, as the most recent episode of the long-running series attracted only 4.79 million viewers, the lowest number since season one.
To find a lower rating than last Sunday’s episode entitled “Stradivarius” (named after a famed string instrument), one has to go all the way back to season one’s episode two (“Guts”) which attracted 4.71 million viewers or episode four in the same season (“Vatos”) which was watched by 4.75 million people.
Even comparing season one to season nine is not necessarily a fair comparison, as season one was before the “zombie-train” really started rolling in terms of ratings. When looking at the data from recent seasons, the drop is much more alarming. Even the lowest rated episode in season eight (episode 14’s “Still Gotta Mean Something”) beat last week’s episode by over 1.5 million viewers (6.3 million viewers).
A drop in viewers was to be expected, but with a ratings decline of this magnitude, the value of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes to the show may have been underestimated by AMC. The series will debut their mid-season break episode, “Evolution”, on November 25 and will return in early 2019. The big question is : Will anyone come back to see a Grimes-less second half? Time will tell, but be sure to stay tuned to Horror News Network for all of the bloody results.