The Walking Dead returned over the weekend to air A Certain Doom, which was originally intended as the season 10 finale. Instead, it aired a full six months after the penultimate episode of the season, given the delay brought on by the production shutdown earlier in the year. Unfortunately for AMC, viewers didn't appear to be overly eager to see how things wrapped up as the episode brought in new series-low ratings for the long-running series.
Just over 2.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the show live. For contrast, the season premiere drew 4 million live viewers which was, at the time, a new low for a season premiere of The Walking Dead. And that 2.7 million number isn't just a low for a season finale; it's a low overall. Granted, it is not technically a season finale as AMC is extending season 10 for an additional six episodes, which will air next year. It also aired as a one-off special under unusual circumstances. Even so, those numbers can't be particularly encouraging to the network.
There are a couple of caveats to the ratings. For one, this does not include delayed viewing and streaming. That is important as The Walking Dead season 10 was still the highest-rated scripted show on cable when those numbers were factored in, averaging 5.4 million viewers per episode. So those numbers could rise quite a bit once delayed viewing is counted. But considering that the preceding episode, The Tower, which aired back in April, drew in 3.49 million live viewers, it's still a significant drop. But ratings have been in decline for the show over the last several years. The show hit its all-time high with 17.29 million viewers for the season 5 premiere back in 2014.
AMC recently announced that The Walking Dead season 11 will end the series. It is expected to air in 2022. With ratings in decline, that makes a great deal of sense. But that won't be the end of it. Not by a long shot. A new spin-off, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, premiered over the weekend and Fear the Walking Dead season 6 is right around the corner. Plus, we have a new Daryl and Carol spin-off coming after season 11, as well as an anthology series, Tales from the Walking Dead. Elsewhere, Andrew Lincoln will be returning as Rick Grimes in a planned trilogy of movies.
Point being, even though the main series, which is based on Robert Kirkman's Image Comics series of the same name, is ending, this universe is expanding. These ratings don't seem to suggest that the franchise can sustain so many projects. Then again, new shows may be able to bring on new viewers who simply fell behind with The Walking Dead years ago and never managed to catch back up. Either way, there is plenty of zombie action from this world coming our way over the next several years. These numbers were provided by SpoilerTV.