AMC’s The Walking Dead is still a ratings juggernaut in its eighth season, which just came to a close this Sunday. The Season 8 finale also acted as a crossover transition into the Season 4 premiere of spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead, which enjoyed a ratings bump for the effort. (You can read more about both series and their futures in our post-mort here.) But while TWD is still drawing in massive audiences and topping the charts as far as ratings go, despite being challenged by ABC’s Roseanne revival, the overall trend here is a downward one.
And that’s been the narrative throughout this season; the numbers don’t lie. The most recent season finale numbers are currently half that of the series’ best back in 2015 in Season 5. Half. Now these are Live+Same Day numbers, so we’ll have to wait until Live+3 ratings come in to know for sure. “Wrath” tallied a 3.4 rating in adults 18-49 and accounted for 7.9 million viewers. That’s up versus last week but down a pretty good chunk from the Season 7 finale last year. Overall, Season 8 averaged a 3.4 and 7.8 million viewers in Live+Same Day, but that’s also down from Season 7’s average by the same rough percentage as the finales.
From Variety, here’s a look at how The Walking Dead season finales stack up:
- Season 5 (2015)–8.2 rating, 15.8 million
- Season 4 (2014)–8.0 rating, 15.7 million
- Season 6 (2016)–6.9 rating, 14.2 million
- Season 3 (2013)–6.4 rating, 12.4 million viewers
- Season 7 (2017)–5.4 rating, 11.3 million
- Season 2 (2012)–4.7 rating, 9 million viewers
- Season 8 (2018)–3.4 rating, 7.9 million
- Season 1 (2011)–3.0 rating, 6 million viewers
It’s not all doom and gloom for the still-well-rated AMC series, however. Seeing Andrew Lincoln and other stars of The Walking Dead send off Lennie James‘ Morgan as he transitioned into Fear the Walking Dead offered a bump for the latter series, which saw a 33% bump in its target ratings demographic and total viewers for its Season 3 premiere. “What’s Your Story?” pulled in a 1.6 rating and 4.1 million viewers. We’ll see how many return to watch Morgan and his pals’ journey on the side-series, just as we’ll see how many viewers flock back to The Walking Dead when it returns this fall for Season 9, which is just about to start production.
Are you still optimistic for the future of The Walking Dead or have you already checked out? Let us know in the comments!