The Walking Dead is off to a rough start following the Season 10 premiere on Sunday as it hits an all-time low with the number of viewers who tuned in to watch. In spite of viewership lows, TWD continues to be a prolific AMC series. The show has managed to spawn two spinoffs, Fear the Walking Dead and a still-untitled series about the next generation of survivors. Recently, it was confirmed TWD was renewed for Season 11, and the promised return of fan-favorite Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Greene, toward the end of this latest season.
But it looks like we have a long way to go before this new season drums up anything According to Deadline, the season premiere, “Lines We Cross,” only managed to reel in 4 million viewers domestically. Deadline notes this marks a 34% drop in total viewers tuning in to watch a Walking Dead premiere from the Season 9 debut which brought in 6.1 million sets of eyeballs. Compared to the Season 8 premiere, which had 11 million viewers, this latest drop indicates some truly dire circumstances for one of AMC’s biggest shows.
Even more telling of just how hard TWD is going to have to work this season. Deadline also notes in their report on the Season 10 premiere that among viewers 18-49 and viewers 25-54, viewership plummeted down to 44% and 39%, respectively. This marks a major dip in viewership compared to the Season 9 premiere, with it now sitting at a 1.5 and 1.9 rating in the respective demographics. The latter demo, the 25-54 bracket, represents the core demo for AMC, so these numbers really hit hard when considering these ratings.
As is often the case with these things, it’s unclear what the reason (or reasons) for the dip in the numbers could be. Could it be fatigue with the series? Admittedly, it’s tough to make the zombie apocalypse feel new and exciting by Season 10, especially when a majority of the series regulars have been killed off. But it’s possible (although unconfirmed) TWD will end soon, with its storyline seemingly still running concurrent to the comics series on which it’s based and poised to hit plot beats seen in the final issues of that now-complete comics run. As for Season 10, it’s unclear whether TWD can regain any traction of the viewership and ratings front.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC every Sunday at 9/8c.