With a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49, the second episode of the ninth season of the show based on Robert Kirkman’s comics took the small screen’s once top rated show off a cliff to an all-time series low. “The Bridge” episode comes off last week’s highly promoted season opener, which was the lowest debut for the series and the second least-watched premiere.
The October 14 TWD snagged an audience of 5 million, which was a drop of 19% from the October 7 season opener of the reset series. Among the 18-49, TWD fell 21% from the Season 9 debut.
On a show now available early on the no-ad AMC Premiere service and increasingly leaning towards delayed viewing, those drops are actually a tiny bit less than the comparative declines in Season 8. Also, TWD was facing the bite of a much-watched Boston Red Sox’s win over the Houston Astros in the ALCS on October 14 and Tom Brady making some NFL history on a rising Sunday Night Football.
Even with the overall same-day decline on both broadcast and cable, that doesn’t take away from the fact that TWD is performing worst now in the demo and with viewers than in its first few episodes of the abbreviated Season 1 back in 2010. It also cannot avoid the reality that in the key demo “The Bridge” cratered 50% from what “The Damned” second episode of a declining Season 8 drew on October 29 last year.
AMC, of course, likes to save their powder for the Live +3 numbers that are expected later this week.
With all that, TWD has a potential ace card or two to still play this season. Series OG Andrew Lincoln is leaving for good this year and Lauren Cohan is stepping out to be co-lead on the ABC midseason newbie Whiskey Cavalier. So far, exactly when and at what point in the season those departures will occur has not been unveiled. Yet, if past big moments on TWD are any indication, they will certainly be well watched, on one platform or another.