Any episode of The Walking Dead that finds close pals Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon scrapping is already problematic. Add a new empathetic angle to villain Negan and helicopters hovering over the zombie apocalypse and you have a clearly special show of the AMC blockbuster series.
However, with all that and a rising Sunday Night Football and the American Music Awards on NBC and ABC, the November 19 TWD ended up with a very different type of distinction. The Season 8 “The Big Scary U” episode fell a six-year ratings low for the series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics.
Or, to do the math, with a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49, TWD had its worst result since November 20. 2011. That Season 2 “Secrets” episode drew a 3.1 among the key demo. Week to week, TWD was down 13% among the key demo.
In a season that has seen TWD stumble in live + same day results since its October 22 premiere, the fifth episode of Season 8 didn’t do much better viewershipwise. Snagging an audience of 7.9 million, Walking Dead had the least sets of eyeballs since the penultimate episode of Season 2 on March 11, 2012. While not the least watched episode of the season, that “Better Angels” ep had 6.89 million viewers. Looking back to the November 12 TWD, the November 19 episode declined 10% in viewers.
On the Live + 3 metric, TWD has seen lifts of around 40% over the first four episodes of this season, a fact that keeps AMC smiling
Hopefully with more calm between Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus’ characters, The Walking Dead will break for its winter finale on December 10. The series will be back early in 2018 for the rest of the All Out War tale.