There is good news and not-so-good news to come out of the end of The Walking Dead’s seventh season on April 2.
The not-so-good news is that the Season 7 finale had a zombie-sized ratings bite taken out of it in viewership and the demo for its Live+3 results. Coming off a very competitive night Sunday, The Walking Dead drew 15.5 million total viewers and 9.7 million in adults 18-49, for a 7.6 rating in the time-shifted viewing metric, down 15% and 16%, respectively from the L+3 results of the Season 6 ender of last year — itself down 10% and 15% from the record-breaking Season 5 finale in 2015.
Oddly, this year’s nearly 90-minute “The First Day Of The Rest of Your Life” episode Sunday saw much greater growth in L+3 percentagewise than in previous seasons, with a 38% and 40% jump over the five-year low of Sunday’s Live+Same Day result.
The good news for AMC is that the series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics has truly planted a flag in small-screen history. It remains the highest-rated show on TV despite the declines this season, and now holds the title as the only drama to hold the top spot in adults 18-49 for five years in a row.
“It is a tribute to everyone involved that the show continues to surprise and engage, entertain and amaze after 99 episodes… and counting,” said AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios boss Charlie Collier of the benchmark.
The Walking Dead is expected to be back for its eighth season sometime this fall, debuting with its 100th episode.