The Walking Dead's Falling Ratings Defended By Producer
"I don't think in any way the brand has lost its relevance in general."
While it was unrealistic to expect The Walking Dead to maintain the record-breaking viewing figures of some of its earlier seasons, the AMC zombie drama has seen a dramatic drop in audience numbers over the past two years. The first half of the current eighth season has had the lowest figures since 2011. However, one of its producers has now defended the show's audience decline.
David Alpert told Variety that looking at the figures for the show's live broadcast was misleading as to how popular it really is. "I don't think in any way the brand has lost its relevance in general," he said. "I think we're just seeing a decline in urgency across all media to consume something at a specific time. I still get people coming up to me at conventions talking about, they're in the middle of season six. They can't believe what's going on."
It is certainly true that live broadcast figures only tell part of the story when gauging how many people are watching a show. This is been especially true of series such as Game of Thrones, which is also available via HBO's on-demand services, and The Walking Dead did add an extra 3.6 million viewers to its mid-season finale last month when DVR numbers were taken into account.
However, there is no denying that The Walking Dead has seen a steady decline in viewers over a relatively short period of time. The 7.9 million broadcast viewers of the mid-season finale was the lowest number since Season 2's in 2011. This is in comparison to the 10.58 million viewers that watched the mid-season of Season 7 in 2016, and nearly half of what the equivalent episode achieved for Season 5 in 2014.
The Walking Dead Season 8 returns in February. In the meantime, you can click here to find out why we think Negan is ruining the show.