The Walking Dead Ratings Rise, Despite Misleading Headlines


If you’re only reading headlines and not the articles, then you might believe The Walking Dead ratings went down. The truth is, in fact, the opposite.

Now, I want to preface this by saying that The Walking Dead ratings have gone down this year, compared to previous seasons. For the first time in many years, it almost dropped into the single digits in terms of millions of viewers watching. Even with the drop, however, the show is light years ahead of every other cable show and won’t be in cancellation danger anytime soon.

After this dip in the middle of the season, ratings began to gradually rise again. It hit its lowest dip with episode 12, getting 10.16 million viewers. Each subsequent episode has gotten higher and higher, with the season ender putting it back into the 11’s. To be exact, the Season 7 finale managed to pull in 11.3 million viewers. Yes, that’s a drop from last year’s 14.19 million, but it’s still part of the show’s trajectory back upward.

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We need to also keep in mind that this was a night of stiff competition. For example, WWE’s annual WrestleMania event certainly pulled in tons of potential viewers. Surely many of them caught up on the Walking Dead finale later on DVR, and those numbers haven’t been tallied into the final count yet.

However, all of the headlines I’m seeing about this are nothing but negative. They’re saying things about the show having its “lowest ratings in years,” and hitting “record low ratings”. While these statements are technically true, they’re very misleading for folks who don’t click on the articles they see posted on Facebook.

Specifically, the Season 7 finale was the lowest rated season finale of the show since 2012. Not the lowest rated episode mind you. So when people are scrolling past these headlines online, it puts off the wrong impression. Many are quick to assume that the ratings are completely in the toilet and that AMC will pull the plug any minute now.

The Walking Dead photo by Gene Page/AMC

Season 8 looks to be far less miserable than Season 7.

The truth is that the show’s ratings have been consistently getting better for several episodes. Season 7’s finale also sets up a rather exciting looking Season 8, which should help bring some more fans back. It also doesn’t hurt that there was no painful cliffhanger like last year, with the finale bringing us a solid conclusion yet still building towards a promising future.

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I guess I’m just looking at this as the glass being half full. I could look at this as, “The Walking Dead season finale was the lowest rated season finale in years, the show is dying!” Instead, I see it as, “The Walking Dead had a dip in the ratings this season, but it’s already back on the rise.” I encourage more of you to adopt the latter mindset of thinking.