Published: Wed, October 10, 2018

Walking Dead season 9 premiere loses almost half its audience

Walking Dead season 9 premiere loses almost half its audience

The Walking Dead, which entered its ninth season this week, had the smallest number of live viewers of any season of the show.

Down 27 percent in the demo and 23 percent in the audience over the season eight finale, and down 50 percent in the demo and 47 percent in audience size over the season eight premiere, the downtick in both rating and audience size continues a long-running and alarming trend that has plagued the series in recent seasons.

While the title of the The Walking Dead Season 9 premiere may have - in its very title - touted "A New Beginning", said beginning got off to a rough start for the veteran AMC series. While the current rating doesn't account for late or recorded viewings, it's unlikely that the episode will even come close to prior premieres. 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. The previous low had been held by the series pilot episode, which debuted to a 2.7 rating in 2010 and drew 5.3 million viewers.

AMC points out that Sunday was particularly competitive with sports programming and they also made the season 9 premiere available on its AMC Premiere commercial-free option 24 hours before its linear airing.

The Walking Dead premiere has reached a new ratings low for the series.

The slide was despite pre-season buzz about the fate of Rick Grimes and Maggie Greene, as stars Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan have confirmed they're departing the show this year. AMC doesn't release numbers for the streaming service, though, so we don't know for sure how many people watched it there. TL;DR: The number of people watching The Walking Dead Season 9 is almost back to the number of people who watched the show in Season 1, when it was first getting off the ground.

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