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“The Walking Dead” Has Worst Midseason Finale Ratings Since Season 3

This past Sunday AMC’s “The Walking Dead” concluded the first half of Season 7 with a slight uptick in ratings, although still the worst since the Season 3 midseason finale.

The eighth episode, “Hearts Still Beating”, pulled in 10.58 million viewers, a bleak jump from the prior week’s 10.48 million. It barely topped Season 3’s midseason finale, which would have made it the worst finale since the show’s second season.

The good news is that the ratings did increase, albeit a tick, with the bad news being that a typical finale brings in a huge jump in ratings (on average, approximately 2 million). Worse news for AMC is that the general consensus amongst critics and fans were positive, although they can only hope that it translates into return viewers when the show returns on February 12, 2017.

From where I’m sitting it looks like the beginning of the end. I really don’t know how you top the hype and controversy of where they left things off with Negan in Season 6. I think we’ve seen the peak of “The Walking Dead” and from here on out we’ll see a steady decline until the eventual movie or series cancellation. But don’t panic yet as we really need to see what happens come the show’s return; and let’s not forget that 10 million viewers is still nothing to sneeze at.

Those of you who are keeping up with the show, what are you emotions right now?



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COMMENTS

54 Comments
  • druidblackangel

    A little dramatic with the beginning of the death knell. With this many viewers in the middle of Football season and on Sunday one of the top 2 ratings nights-Walking Dead is fine. The show is great, don’t like it move on plz……..Have not read a review yet of Exorcist Ep 9 which is a great show. Maybe a little less Walking Dead hate/drama and more of what else matters as well

  • Matt

    For a show named ‘The Walking Dead’, it still has plenty of life left in it. When (and if) the numbers dip below 5 million, then there might be some reason for concern. Even if that does happen (and to me, that’s a big if), 5 million is still pretty good, and as good, or better, than many “popular” shows. I am not at all worried. Can’t wait until February to watch the second half of the season.

    • This. Even 5 million would make it I believe their highest rated show. Walking Dead is still DOUBLE that. This show isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and often times a show can regain it’s audience in time. I’ve seen that happen plenty of times as well.

      • Eleanor A quatrain

        But ratings are trending down at what must be an alarming rate for AMC. Mid season finale dropped 25% from last years mid season finale. Stop looking at the numbers in a vacuum. Look at the trends.

        Shows don’t often “regain” their audience to that degree without a major change to the show. Look for Gimple to be gone soon. He ticked off plenty of viewers with his stunts, i.e. Dumpster dive and 90 minute RV road trip finale last year. That’s lazy, cliche writing and people have too many other choices of shows to watch to sit thru Gimples games.

    • Travis_Bickle

      Popular doesn’t need to be in quotes.

  • Carnage

    Give me a break. The show isn’t going anywhere. It’s still above ten million and the next half is going to be a nice little setup for All out war in season 8. This has been a good season thus far. Some people just have no patience.

    • ScriptGiverTJ

      No patience? Please. People have stuck with this shit show for over 6 seasons. It’s not their lack of patience, it’s the dumb shitty boring ass writing.

      • Evolved Evil

        Or the world has turned into a gimme now society that can’t take more than an episodes wait for ANY show to set up a story. Stick to youtube videos kid.

        • ScriptGiverTJ

          Jesus Christ I watched it for over six and a half seasons. The story SUCKS. You twd turds are so delicate.

          • Evolved Evil

            If you can appreciate a slow burn then sorry for assuming you have ADD like the rest of the world. I also was speaking on all shows, this just happens to be in a walking dead article. Fans of both show and comic know that if places on an HBO or some station like that it would never get stale.

          • ScriptGiverTJ

            I appreciate a good story. TWD stopped being good and got VERY BAD. It’s almost a parody of itself.

          • Evolved Evil

            I will admit they follow the same story telling which gets old.

          • ScriptGiverTJ

            That’s the reason I tapped out.

          • Evolved Evil

            And i can respect that. I am a huge fan but i warn people about the shit show season 2 was and thats it’s not always the most exciting show. Then again a lot of great shows have slow story builder episodes but TWD does use that as an out in my opinion instead of following a faster paced story telling approach.

          • J Jett

            Evolved Evil, i love slow burn shows (AMC’s former show THE KILLING is the definition of slow burn and it’s one of my all time favorite shows ever) but to be fair usually slow burn leads to something/some kind of pay off. with TWD it literally is the same thing again and again and again, etc. it’s lather, rinse, repeat with no driving goal/driving narrative. i’d probably get back into the show if the characters/the story was heading somewhere or there was some end game in sight but it IMO is just aimless with “let’s see how nasty/evil/disturbing/shocking can we make each season/each new character?”.

            don’t get me wrong, i’m not begrudging anyone’s enjoyment of the show, i’m glad tons of people still love it. i just wish it still was a show that i found great (season 1 is still one of the greatest seasons of any show ever IMO).

  • Evolved Evil

    Why do you constantly have a distaste for this show Brad? You only post negative things about it. The show won’t be dying anytime soon. It is sad that you are such a troll on your own site. We get it, the show has never resonated with you, but stop shitting on it. Honestly with your supposed love for the comics, you should be excited to see where it goes. Since it does seem like they’re going that route too, ratings will increase again. Especially for the way the war happens. PLEASE STOP POSTING NEGATIVELY ON THINGS YOU DONT LIKE! Your bias towards it only makes people who once respected your opinion resent opening your articles.

    • plutohiller

      I totally agree. I clicked on this news only to see what its purpose was, and found out it was to bash the show. Several sites have been posting these ratings reports. Who cares? If the show dropped to a million viewers, that your average television show has, then okay, report it. AMC typically keeps shows even with low ratings (albeit shows they don’t cancel after one season), and usually ends the story appropriately before terminating it. Just look at Halt and Catch Fire. We’re already confirmed to be getting a season 8, so it could end and I’d be satisfied with the show. This is just bait to bring out the people that like to bash the show, making Brad feel better. Users posting negative comments online have a bad habit of watching shows they don’t like, just so they could chime in.

  • Michael Goldman

    There are a lot of people who love this show. If they aren’t watching live the way they used to, then they are DVRing it. It is still the highest rated scripted show on TV. The Media Bias against it at awards time is disgusting. Would it be better if it didn’t follow the comic to the letter so much? Probably. it is amazing that the writer seems to want the show to get cancelled when there are so many shows with garbage content and garbage ratings to go with them that keep getting renewed. Maybe the people who employ this person likes it that he stirs up controversy.

    • ScriptGiverTJ

      Plenty of us have stopped watching at all. As the numbers, both live and DVR, show.

      Also He owns the site sport.

      • Michael Goldman

        If he owns the site, he can write what he wants.

        • Evolved Evil

          Yeah totally get that. Been looking at the site since it started though and he has just seemed to have turned into a bitter old man than a horror enthusiast.

          • Michael Goldman

            A lot of people get bitter as time goes by. I don’t really know what people want to happen on this show that they become so disgruntled. Every year we see articles that they have to kill off Darryl, Rick, Michonne, etc. I’ve never read an article by this person before(as far as I know.) I usually don’t comment on Walking Dead articles, but there won’t be much to comment on TVBTN when everything is on hiatus. I’m looking for more things to comment on. Thanks for writing.

          • Evolved Evil

            No problem always up for an intelligent discussion. Brad honestly is one of my heros and this site a long time ago was an escape for me and molded me into the adult i am for the better. It just sucks seeing the creator of this empire seem so bitter.

  • jasonlives1986

    The show is declining rapidly because fans were PISSED at the cop out ending to last year’s finale.

    They (including me) returned for the premiere just to see something we were PROMISED in last year’s finale.

    It was made worse in their judgement to also promise us that the show and the comic would be if ferns and to expect differnt results.

    Killing Abraham in that scene to throw off the trail to Glen was the nail in the coffin for me. It doesn’t help that the two characters who go “crazy” in Rick and Carol when it’s needed most have both been neutered and are involved in storylines that is so far away from where they are best utilized that it literally makes me angry.

    At the end of the the day I think millions of people realize that the slow burn to what seemingly feels no real thoughtful ending has taken its toll.

    From Ep 1 to this seasons finale I couldn’t tell you what the goal of the show is. Other then maybe sometimes kill zombies.

    Rigut now the season is legit the same as the governor season. Except negan does more damage.

    This puppy is cooked. Creativity peaked in season 3/4

    • Shane da Lucky

      Really?

      I get it, it’s polarising, the writing is too deep, its requires patience, analysis, the zombies are just a metaphor for contemporary societal paranoia – they always have been but it’s also shocking, confronting, gruesome and gory – and in its best moments quite poignant.

      It’s a wonder TWD has lasted several seasons at all – and yet it has. How many other horror shows have lasted several seasons? The audience speaks for itself.

      I wonder how much BD website has benefited from The Walking Dead? People like myself who’ve gravitated to this site because this programme has turned them onto horror? This show has done more for the genre than any other show on the box – it’s the reason why I visit this site and leave page impressions. Maybe instead of gleefully gloating about it’s audience reset you could look at something more affirming – cos at the moment you sound like a big girls blouse.

      • jasonlives1986

        Supernatural bro.

        Walking dead has nothing on it

        Or dexter.

        You’re entitled to your opinion even if it’s wrong

  • Travis_Bickle

    And the decline in viewers continues. Hopefully it’s on it’s way out.

    • Matt

      Nice try. If you read the article, which you clearly didn’t, the viewership increased by 100,000. No show with 10 million+ viewers is “on it’s way out.”

      • Travis_Bickle

        oh god, another fanboy is defending his sinking ship. You work in the industry right? Got tue inside info? This show used to pull 16+ million viewers each episode. It has dropped so many people all anyone talks about is how its “on its way out”. Educate yourself before you speak please next time

        • Matt

          Nice try again. Perhaps you should take your own advice. Three, count ’em, three episodes in six and a half seasons pulled 16 million or higher. And it’s current 10,580,000 is more than any other show on currently airing on TV or cable. There isn’t a show out there that doesn’t wish it had the fan-base that TWD has.

          “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”(Oscar Wilde)

          • Travis_Bickle

            Nice try again for you pee wee. One, count’em one episode pulled 16 million. Get your facts straight. The season premiere had huge ratings because everyone wanted to see who dies. The following episode plumited 5 million viewers. Every additional episode this season has dropped more then a million people, that says alot. If you actually knew what you were talking about versus vomiting made up statistics your argument might hold some water, but it doesn’t. This season has the lowest critical and viewer ratings, of any season. Its on its way out….like I said.

            Pro Tip: incorrectly quoting Oscar Wilde doesn’t make you sound intelligent.

          • Matt

            Again, virtually everything you are saying is wrong.

            Season 4 opener – 16.1 million.
            Season 5 opener – 17.3 million.
            Season 7 opener – 17.03 million.
            The drop from ep. 1 was about 4.5 million, not 5 million. (I see you edited your original post of a 10 million drop.)

            Every subsequent episode did not go down by more than 1 million. The biggest post episode 1 drop was between ep. 2 and ep. 3, about 1 million. Since ep. 6, the numbers are going up. I will guarantee that the numbers will continue to rise in the second half of the season. You can quote me on that.

            Also, the Oscar Wilde quote is correct.

            Finally, here’s my Pro Tip for you: Your terrible spelling doesn’t make you sound intelligent.

            Peace out, douchebag.

          • Travis_Bickle

            You are literally making this shit up. im simply reading from the Wikipedia page which contradicts all your false and grossly exaggerated information.

            The show lost 5 million viewers in one week bro, you even said it. That is the death rattle of the show.

            Anyone with a 6th grade education knows an Oscar Wilde quote, it doesn’t make you some great thinker. Enjoy your sinking ship butt rot.

          • Matt

            Funny, I was looking at the same Wikipedia page. That’s where I got the information from. Would you kindly point out what part of my information was “false and grossly exaggerated”?

            As for the “death rattle”, well that rattling is going to continue for two and a half to three and a half more seasons, perhaps more.

            “Anyone with a 6th grade education knows an Oscar Wilde quote”. So are you saying that you don’t have a 6th grade education? Because earlier you told me that I had it wrong. My guess would be no, because judging by that “butt rot” comment, I’m guessing you are about 10 years old.

          • Travis_Bickle

            TLDR, Nobody cares about your lies fanboy

      • Eleanor A quatrain

        Seriously? The mid season finale was down 25% from last years mid season finale. Everything is relative and 10 million is great if the trend is stable or up, not so great if the trend is DOWN, and down significantly.

        • Matt

          What does that have to do with my response to his reply? Nothing, that’s what.

          The show, even with it’s declining ratings, continues to bury the competition with three times the number of viewers. When that changes, then we can talk.

          • Travis_Bickle

            everyone can see the show tanking…it’s spreading like an uninteresting zombie apocalypse show

  • J Jett

    a friend of mine who loves this show was just telling me that apparently (online/in the news) a certain faction of pathetic viewers of this show (i’m only calling this particular faction pathetic and not TWD viewers in general) were bashing/trashing Alanna Masterson (Tara) since she gained some weight (she just had a baby girl a few months ago!) and then the actress, tired of the trolls, made a video rebuttal/retort to those pathetic trolls. i adore Alanna/Tara and i’m glad she defended herself (not that she needed to to the pathetic losers who were trashing her). TWD seems to attract some (not most, but some) extremist, insane, immature viewers. i’m still disgusted with those who sent Laurie Holden (Andrea) death threats simply because she was doing her job in portraying a character and that character was doing what the writers had the character do. the extreme hatred against Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori) was also ridiculous.

    • oh_riginal

      It really is a shame that actors and actresses have to deal with the harsh side of fandom, and it’s an even bigger shame that women have to see a far uglier side of it than men usually do.

      That being said, Lori was a horrible character. Sarah Wayne Callies seems like a nice person, but I’m sure that character didn’t do her career any favors. Hope she finds success elsewhere, since her ACTING wasn’t bad, technically.

      • Saturn

        Well she’s doing fine having recently starred in The Other Side Of The Door, the tv show Colony and is back in the new series of Prison Break.
        Her career looks like it’s doing fine.

  • Our Ratings system is more assbackwards then our national election. WHEN are they going to catch up with the present, and stop reporting this “declined ratings” BS? Looks like never. It took them forever to include DVR users. UPDATE: Millions of viewers have dumped TV and cable for online streaming, but Ratings conveniently dismisses that factor for loophole BS viewership reporting.

    • HaDeZz

      And if you start adding international viewers, (Airs on same day too) you get a huge added number.

    • Eleanor A quatrain

      So AMC sending out surveys to find out what you think the problem is with the show means you are right, ratings aren’t shrinking? Latest AMC Popular Culturalist survey is all about Walking dead viewership, not in a good way. A whole long list of choices on why you don’t watch as much/at all options on there.

      Gee could it be AMC sees a 25% drop in ratings an issue, even with all your rationalizing that it isn’t?

      • I based this on the fact findings disclosed in Yahoo finance and Google finance, about the whole lopsided global network/ratings controversy with alleged viewership declination causal. AMC/WD is far not the only one affected by this. And its not just the online viewers. Many other stations/carriers have sent out surveys, with mixed bag results, due to this ongoing national ratings “crisis” as they call it. Some part of it has been the technology overload with online streaming vs cable owners etc. Much of the news reports have unsurprising, with all the cable monopoly taking place, and changeovers within the politics.

  • zombie84_41

    had some good deaths. Glad they killed that useless fat chick and spencers death had me laughing mad hard. Wish negan didn’t shave, he looked more badass. I’m guessing shasa is dying next since be in the new star trek show.

    • Q.

      Useless Fat Chick – Really?

      • zombie84_41

        Ok sorry I came off a little harsh but she was useless though,

  • Erik The Red

    What’s your emotions? Stoned to very stoned. LOL

    TWD is still the best horror series on tv currently, besides Ash vs Evil Dead and AHS Roanoke. I love how the media tries to dance on TWD’s grave. (No pun intended) I’d rather watch TWD any day (or night) of the week over 95% of the shit currently on tv. JDM is just scratching the surface with Negan. The last final episodes of this year’s TWD, have shown Jeffery Dean Morgan’s range. The mid-season finale was excellent. Looking forward to February.

  • John Madden

    can i just ask the people that say the story goes nowhere, where do you want the story to go? its an apocolypse show…. the whole concept is about survival under such circumstances. which the show does well.

  • FromTheAshes21

    The current backlash against The Walking Dead is reminding me of “One Million Moms”. There is a smaller group of haters spewing an endless stream of opinions across the web and trying to rally people to their cause to harm the show. If the social media hivemind would stop wanting to feel included when they are told that they should think that the show is too violent or too boring or too repetitive or too focused, I don’t think as may people would’ve jumped ship following Glen’s death. By the time the premiere hit, people knew what they were getting into. I think eventually this fog will lift, people’s opinions will change, and they will return to the show. The finale was definitely a positive note. If people catch up during the hiatus, they’ll see the big picture of this season and enjoy it better. The comics have come a long way since Negan’s debut, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so those who feel he Needs To Die are going to continue to be disappointed.

  • Dinglebobman

    Well since daryal is not comic character maybe robert kirkman could go in a dead rising 4 like zombie mutation way for the virus kind of way even thought I don’t if they can on with this ratings and seeing some how there will be a season 8 with negan in it cause I would like a new undead threat that comes ricks way might be the way to go cause a lot of people like left 4 dead and there no insane people in that?

  • Satanzilla

    I don’t think it has anything to do with the story being too bleak. That’s always been the case.

    I think it’s more that fans have bored of the prosaic, mechanical, manipulative way the show runners tell the story. The network has shown contempt for its huge audience by putting hacks in charge (I mean, an effects guy? REALLY?) and it’s finally caught up with them.

    Kirkman’s geekboy arrogance is a factor as well. His story got so much attention because it was a sober and realistic telling of a very “genre” sci fi/horror tale, but then he just swerved it back into nerd fantasy territory thinking he could do no wrong. But for millions of us the resulting retardation was too much to sit through.

    All that said, come on. The beginning of the end? Ten million viewers? That’s got to be more than twice the viewers of the next highest-rated horror show. And the show probably costs about a dollar fifty to make. TWD is going to be on for a million years, like it or not.

  • ForeverKEK

    Rich and Michonne was the worst idea ever, no chemistry and just down right sickening, im rooting for the Walker now.

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