'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Premiere Lowest-Rated in Show's History

Angelo Anderson
October 10, 2018

The Season 9 opener was down a whopping 50% versus the Season 8 premiere in terms of ratings, and 47% in total viewers-the Season 8 premiere drew in 11.4 million viewers past year. In the key advertiser-coveted demographic of adults under 50, Nielsen says the series notched a 2.5 rating, half of last year's 5.0 rating and the lowest-rated premiere ever for Walking Dead (the series debuted in 2010 with a 2.7 rating).

Additionally, the percentages do not paint a pretty picture for The Walking Dead, since the Season 9 premiere was down by almost 50% in the (18-49) key demo and 47% in total viewers compared to the - also-low - Season 8 premiere, which drew a 5.0 and 11.4 million viewers past year. But that's still a steep drop from the series' heyday in seasons three through seven, which regularly pulled in double-digit numbers and topped out at 17.29 million viewers for the Season 5 premiere. It's also a 51% free-fall from what the series based on Robert Kirkman's comics drew for the Season 8 opener in the demo arena it has dominated for ages. It was also down 23 percent from last April's finale, notable since even for many other shows that have seen ratings fall, their series premieres managed to eke out small gains over their finales.

To be fair, it's still one of the biggest shows on television, behind only This Is Us in key demo ratings.

Because the future came knocking this weekend for TWD and it brought a bit of Power with it, it seems. The Live+3 and Live+7 numbers will provide a fuller portrait of how the premiere actually did.

If AMC was hoping the impending departure of Andrew Lincoln from The Walking Dead would lead to a ratings uptick in the show's ninth season, they did not get it. AMC doesn't release numbers for the streaming service, though, so we don't know for sure how many people watched it there. And while secondary to the human toll it took on everyone who suddenly found themselves out of work, it also left fans of The Walking Dead video game in the dark about what would happen with the last, unfinished episodes for The Final Season, the conclusion of Clementine's story. Hopefully, because that's a real new beginning.

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