Are Viewers Losing Their Taste For Zombies – Ratings Continue To Fall For The Walking Dead

December 14, 2016

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]



The Walking Dead may be in trouble. After 7 seasons AMC’s highest ranking show seems to be in decline. The season 7 premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ scored the second highest ratings in the hit series’ history. A month later the ratings have  taken a nose-dive. The episode titled “Go Getters”, had the lowest ratings since the third season. Some may say that it’s just a fluke, but a 7 million drop in ratings is pretty significant, and it’s getting worse.

The episode before Sunday’s mid-season finale saw another drop to 10.4 million. The trend in viewer decline began with the season 6 finale which reached 12.42 million viewers, 3 million less than the season 5 finale. Let’s hope things pick-up through the second half of the season. TWD is not the only show losing viewers. The spin-off, ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, is suffering as well.


Let me simplify ‘The Walking Dead’s’ numbers for you.

6 finale: 12.38 million

7 premiere: 17.03 million

7 x 2: 12.46 million

7 x 3: 11.72 million

7 x 4: 11.40 million

7 x 5: 11 million

7 x 6: 10.40 million

7 x 7: 10.48

7 x 8 (mid-season finale): 10.58


Something has made ‘Walking Dead’ fans stop watching. Are fans pissed off about Negan’s victims? Maybe it has something to do with Glenn’s fake death and retreat under a dumpster, followed by his real death? Is it the series new split episode layout? I know some fans are still not over the huge cliffhanger in the season 6 finale, and I get it. It left a pretty bad taste in my mouth for a while. Some people are blaming Negan for the fall in ratings, but honestly, he may be the only thing keeping the show interesting. Another possibility is that fans are getting burned out on zombies/walkers. For several years now, the horror genre has been flooded with zombie movies and series.


twd finale 1


Let’s face it, the show has become a bit predictable. It is in a near constant pattern of Rick and the group finding a home, bad guys come, people die, the group gets separated, reunite, find a new home and the cycle starts all over. The show is now making bolder moves and covering darker subject matter, adding more gore, and now torture, in an attempt to keep up viewers tuning in.




I’m sure AMC is not panicking too badly at this point. ‘The Walking Dead’ still has higher ratings than any other show on the network. But if the numbers continue to fall the show may find itself fighting for survival.


You May Also Like…