Many had expected the declining ratings for “The Walking Dead” to drop even further in the wake of Rick Grimes’ final episode, but we were surprised to see that the viewership actually didn’t drop at all between that “event” episode and the first episode without Rick. Then again, perhaps that was to be expected, as the 6-years-later time jump was an event in its own right.
The news isn’t as good this week, as it’s being reported that 4.8 million total viewers tuned in to watch “Stradivarius” this past Sunday night, for a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49.
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
- Episode 9.7 – 4.8 million
For more context, “Stradivarius” is one of the lowest rated episodes in the show’s history, and the series has now shed over one million viewers between episodes 9.1 and 9.7 alone.
The bummer here is that “The Walking Dead” has been having a great season this year, feeling fresher and more interesting without Rick than it had been with him these last few years. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the ratings jump back up a bit this coming Sunday night, as it’s another mid-season finale, but we can’t help but wonder how much wind the series has left in its sails now that its longtime main character is no longer involved. It seems many viewers just aren’t on board without Rick, and that’s serious cause for concern going forward.
The mid-season finale, “Evolution,” airs Sunday night, November 25.