‘The Walking Dead’ debut ratings drops 28 percent year over year

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMCAtl

Posted Friday, October 27, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is either holding its own or losing serious steam, depending on how you interpret the ratings.

The season 8 debut is down 28 percent from is season 7 debut counting three days of DVR usage. The show drew 15 million viewers this past Sunday compared to 20.8 million a year ago, based on Nielsen measurements.

Last season’s hugely anticipated Negan double killing drew more viewers than normal and the drop-off was much more severe than normal as well. It settled around 13 to 15 million viewers for most of season 7.

The opener – in which Rick’s crew began an aggressive introduction at the Saviors’ compound – drew about the same number of viewers as the season seven finale. Based on past seasons, the second episode will see some fall off.

Mitigating the drop is digital viewing not measured by Nielsen: more than 1.4 million views across all AMC digital platforms and Xfinity during the premiere and subsequent three days,. That’s nearly double the digital audience of the season seven finale.

At this stage in the life span of a show, there isn’t any real growth potential. People tend to drop over time but the good news for “The Walking Dead” is it draws so many more viewers than any other show in the coveted 18 to 49 year old demo that it should last awhile. And the producers and AMC are hoping that’s the case.

 

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