If you’re asking me, this past Sunday night’s “Who Are You Now?” was one of the best episodes of “The Walking Dead” in years, but I’ve been wondering if it’s just a bit too late for the show to win back tired viewers with a fresh new approach. Like most, I expected the ratings to plummet without Rick Grimes, but surprisingly, that’s not the case… not yet, at least.
The first post-Rick Grimes episode of “The Walking Dead” drew a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.4 million total viewers on Sunday night, pretty much the same number of viewers who tuned in for the event episode that was promised to be Andrew Lincoln’s last.
For the sake of comparison, here are the episode-by-episode numbers for Season 9:
- Episde 9.1 – 6.08 million
- Episode 9.2 – 4.95 million
- Episode 9.3 – 5.04 million
- Episode 9.4 – 5.10 million
- Episode 9.5 *Rick’s Final Episode* – 5.41 million
- Episode 9.6 – 5.4 million
The fact that the ratings spiked for Rick’s final episode and then remained steady for the first episode without him is pretty surprising, and it suggests that viewers who have stuck with the show for the past eight years are not cutting the cord now that its main character is gone. Granted, there’s always the chance that many tuned in just to see what the show without Rick would be like and don’t plan on continuing beyond that point, which could be reflected in next week’s numbers. But for now, this has to be a welcome bit of good news for AMC.
Again, “Who Are You Now?” was one of the show’s best hours in the last couple years, and I’m personally hopeful about its future. Perhaps this tank still has some gas left in it after all.
Only two episodes remain in the first half of Season 9, which continues November 18.