The Beginning of the End for The Walking Dead

Spoiler Alert

Seasons 4, 5 and 6 were the best seasons of the hit TV show "The Walking Dead".

The problem however was that in season 6 they kept teasing the death of fan favourite, Glenn.

And then the season 6 finale in which it was clear someone had died, but we didn't know who.

Speaking for myself and my wife, we were really annoyed with the season 6 finale. It was super annoying.

So when the season 7 premiere aired on October 23rd we were basically just waiting to see who had died. In the comic books it was supposed to be Glenn. They had teased killing off Glenn during season 6.

The wife and I looked at the camera angle. There was no hair in the eyes of the person who died, and based on that combination of factors we determined it could be Glenn. Glenn was too far to the side and he had hair dangling down in his eyes. The only character that made sense was Abraham.

So when the season 7 premiere came our theory was vindicated. Abraham was killed off.

And then the baddie Negan killed Glenn too. You know, just for kicks. Two characters gone.

That was the last episode the wife and I watched together.

We stopped watching The Walking Dead, which had been our Sunday ritual. Some people go to church, we went to my mother-in-law's and watched The Walking Dead as a family.

We started watching West World and other TV shows instead. Or playing video games on the PS4. Watching movies. Waiting for Game of Thrones to be on, a show where we are okay with characters dying regularly, because sometimes they come back to life or are revealed to have never died at all.

For example, Stannis isn't dead. Brienne did swing a sword at him, but they never showed him dying. Stannis is now missing a leg, but he is still alive.

Anywho, back to the topic of The Walking Dead.

The viewership of The Walking Dead has dropped dramatically during season 7. The wife and I are not the only people who went cold turkey on watching the show.

During seasons 4, 5 and 6 the show had consistent double digit viewership in the millions.
  • Season 4 had viewership of 11.29 million to 16.11 million viewers in the USA.
  • Season 5 had viewership of 12.27 million to 17.29 million viewers in the USA.
  • Season 6 had viewership of 12.18 million to 14.63 million viewers in the USA.

The average viewership for episodes for those 3 seasons were typically 12, 13 or 14 million viewers.

And now season 7...

Season 7 opened strong with 17.03 million viewers, mostly because many people wanted to know who had died.

Episode 2 dropped to 12.46 million.
Episode 3 dropped to 11.72 million.

And a steady decline. The lowest being 10.40 million for episode 6. The first 6 episodes of season 7 only pulled in an average of 11.05 million viewers in the USA.

The mid-season finale only had 10.58 million viewers.

Last week's mid-season premiere on February 12th should have had good numbers, but instead only had 12.00 million viewers.

Now these are still technically good numbers compared to seasons 1 and 2, back when the show was barely talked about and only "zombie nerds" like myself were watching it. (Back when I hadn't even met my future wife and I was a lonely bachelor.)

Now I am not the only person to notice the loss of fans for The Walking Dead. The ratings for season 7 are also down.

Translation. Fans are pissed that they killed off Glenn.

HBO is publicly bragging about the 12 million viewers they had for the mid-season premiere last Sunday. However that is actually lower than the average season 4 episode, and is therefore nothing to be bragging about.

HBO knows that The Walking Dead is now on the downward slope of its popularity. They knew it when they saw the viewership for the first five episodes of season 7, as shown below.

And they know they made a mistake killing off Glenn as a character.

He had been there since episode 1, even if he was only the voice in the tank speaking to Rick on the radio.

But it is too late now. No backsies. This isn't Dallas where you can pretend an entire season of a TV show was just Pamela's bad dream.

Now the only thing they can do for the show to revive it is to start thinking radically.

Do they kill off more characters, especially the ones fan's don't like very much?

Do they bring in big name actors who will draw a crowd? Could you imagine if they got Tom Hanks or a similar brand name actor to do a season or half of a season on the show? Truly that would be a gamble.

Do they do something controversial that will get people talking about the show on social media?

Or should they just keep to what they were doing, knowing that they might be screwed anyway?

Perhaps it is time they start thinking about the end game? A cure for the disease. Or maybe they find someone who is immune to it.

Perhaps crossovers with Fear the Walking Dead (the spinoff show) might revitalize the franchise?

Can they win back the fans who left because they were pissed over Glenn's death? Maybe.

Or maybe this is truly the Beginning of the End for The Walking Dead. Maybe the show is dying and cannot be revived. Maybe it will limp downwards in viewership and ratings, but stay alive - just barely - and become undead.

At which point maybe it will be time to shoot it in the head and just end it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments containing links will be marked as spam and not approved.

Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

Study Archery in Toronto

So you want to study archery, but you are having difficulty finding an archery instructor who is local. However there is a solution. If you are willing to travel you can take a crash course in archery in Toronto, Canada. 10 lessons over a two week period will take you from archery novice to an experienced and capable archer.

Popular Posts