Earlier this week, HNN’s own Nick Banks promptly reviewed Carl’s extended farewell in The Walking Dead Season Eight mid-season premiere, but it turns out he’s part of a group of viewers that just keeps shrinking. It’s been no secret that viewership ratings for the show have been declining since Season Seven, but the series set a dubious record Sunday night for its lowest rated midseason premiere of all time.
Variety reports that Nielsen’s Live+Same Day “data shows that Sunday’s premiere drew a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers.” The drop in viewership from last year’s mid-season premiere amounts to nearly 4 million fewer viewers. If it’s any consolation, 2012’s Season Two mid-season premiere earned a higher overall rating of 4.2 in the key 18-49 demographic, but it netted slightly fewer overall viewers (8.1 million as opposed to Season Seven’s 8.3 million).
The following is all of the data on Nielsen ratings and viewership numbers for all mid-season premieres, since AMC began the practice of splitting up each season starting with Season Two, courtesy of Variety:
- Season 4 (2014)– 8.2 rating, 15.8 million viewers
- Season 5 (2015)– 8.0 rating, 15.6 million viewers
- Season 6 (2016)– 6.8 rating, 13.7 million viewers
- Season 3 (2013)– 6.1 rating, 12.3 million viewers
- Season 7 (2017)– 5.7 rating, 12 million viewers
- Season 2 (2012)– 4.2 rating, 8.1 million viewers
- Season 8 (2018)– 3.6 rating, 8.3 million viewers
It should be noted that, despite this rapid decline in ratings, The Walking Dead remains the number one show on television. 8.3 million viewers is an incredible achievement in today’s marketplace, and the number is only comparatively alarming when viewed alongside the 15.8 million viewers that the Season Four mid-season premiere netted in 2014. Fans of The Walking Dead can rest easy knowing that the show isn’t going anywhere with these kind of numbers. Furthermore, while Nielsen’s “Live+Same Day” system attempts to account for viewers who are watching the show on a variety of different available platforms, it cannot account for the fact that viewers may be consuming television differently than they were even a few years ago, waiting to watch shows when they have a couple of episodes saved up instead of right away. Only time will tell if these numbers improve, or continue to decline, as Season Eight finishes its run.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for full coverage of The Walking Dead!