The Walking Dead: Don’t listen to the whispers, the ratings are fine


Overall, ratings for The Walking Dead are down versus previous seasons. But is there anything to really worry about? Let’s talk about it.

Per a report from Deadline, the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead, Adaptation,” was watched by 44% fewer viewers than last season’s midseason premeire, “Honor.” Deadline admits that “Honor” featured the death of a major character, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). It was a death that had been telegraphed in the midseason finale. People knew to watch.

Deadline also mentions that “Honor” was able to rake in viewers versus the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, while “Adaptation” had issues getting the same viewers against the Grammy’s.

That’s cool. But do people who watch genre shows generally watch the Olympics or the Grammy’s? It’s entirely possible that they do. I’ve watched both.

Those were different times, though. The Olympics, especially their opening and closing ceremonies, are increasingly taped and shown in prime time in a slick package.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the Olympics would try to show as much live coverage as they could. The prime time packages still existed, but you could watch live sporting events in the middle of the night with super high stakes. It was fun.

True. I grew up without cable television. But forget that. It was still fun. The games were big. They were only on for two weeks. And then they went away for four years. Now it’s all been homogenized into a reality show. Ratings will continue to fall.

The Walking Dead-Ross Marquand-Courtesy of AMC Networks

I feel it’s kind of tacky to take shots at the Grammy’s. Everyone does it. At this point, the Grammy’s are turning into the Pop TV version of Branson, Missouri After Dark. There’s great talent there.

Sometimes there are great performances (Hi, Alicia Keys and Cardi B). But the show is a revue of what could be. Like a lot of CBS productions, the Grammy’s just aren’t alive.

What in the world of walkers does that have to do with The Walking Dead? Well, I think people just expect less from television these days. You can’t blame them.

There’s a big part of the population that are gapers, as well. They just show up to watch the event television. “Adaptation” featured no major deaths. Just the aftermath of one from the midseason finale.

Adaptation” was creepy. It created a real sense of tension and claustrophobia, even though most of the characters were in wide open spaces. We saw just how hard core our heroes have become.

At one point, Darryl (Norman Reedus) shoots walkers in the leg to see if any of them will yell with real pain. If they do, those are The Whisperers. The group of people that cut the faces off of walkers and wear them as their own. C’mon! That’s messed up!

The Walking Dead-Danai Gurira-Courtesy of AMC Networks

The story pulled me in, as well. We saw Negan (Jeffery Dead Morgan) go on an emotional, yet very Negan, journey on his own. The groups finally started to admit that isolationism might be the best way to stay safe.

The Whisperers get introduced by their reputation and, unlike the Saviors, actual appearances on the show. There was like a full season of ‘watch out for those Saviors” before we saw them.

Adaptation” was one of the best episodes of The Walking Dead in a few years. Per TV Series Finale, the episode actually had the most viewers in all of the demographics since Rick got blown across the shore in “What Comes After.”

While two of its genre competitors air on premium cable channels, they still posed some competition in the same time slot. HBO’s True Detective had over 1.2 million live viewers. Counterpart brought in just over 200,000 for STARZ.

Yes. I get that 200,000 viewers is the equivalent to a third party candidate in a presidential election, but Counterpart is solid. And it just got canceled. I’m showing it some love.

Overall, The Walking Dead is averaging over 5.2 million viewers per week and carries over a 2 share of the coveted 18-49 demographic. It’s doing fine.

light. Related Story. The Walking Dead mid season premiere recap: Adapting to crazy

I believe that if it stays on its current trajectory that show runner Angela Kang has it on, the series will draw consistent loyal viewership once again. And since its starting off so healthy, it would just turn back into a ratings mammoth.

Did you like “Adaptation?” Or, do you think The Walking Dead has run out of new ideas? Let’s discuss in the comments!