Despite a dramatic fall from grace in viewership over the last handful of years The Walking Dead remains one of the biggest shows on television. AMC's post-apocalyptic zombie series, based on the Image Comics title of the same name from Robert Kirkman, maintained its status as the highest-rated show on cable TV in season 10. This is even more impressive considering the show was forced to end its run early this year, as the season finale wasn't finished ahead of the ongoing production shutdown.

According to a new report detailing some of the winners of the 2019/2020 TV season, The Walking Dead season 10 brought in an average of 5.4 million viewers per episode, when accounting for a week of delayed viewing. That was better than any other scripted show currently airing on cable. While shows like The Outsider on HBO brought in more than 9 million viewers across all platforms, The Walking Dead is managing to bring in huge audiences through traditional viewing, which is impressive in an era where cord-cutting is becoming the norm.

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Still, this showcases a sizable drop when compared to the dramatic highs the show achieved earlier in its run. At its peak, The Walking Dead saw a stunning 17.29 million viewers tune in for its season 5 premiere back in 2014. But the cliffhanger at the end of season 6, which brought Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan into the fold in a big way, represented a turning point. Following the season 7 premiere, the trend of decline began and the series has been seeing viewers fall off the map in droves ever since.

But AMC is not alone in this respect. Many cable networks and traditional TV channels are seeing viewership drop as streaming services continue to rise. It's not just Netflix anymore. Disney + and Apple TV+ launched last year, HBO Max debuted last week and NBC's Peacock is on the way shortly. This is contributing heavily to a decline in cable and satellite subscriptions, which is, in turn, leading to smaller viewership numbers. Taking that into account, The Walking Dead remains a huge draw for the network and it's no wonder that AMC has zero plans to end things.

Rather, AMC is expanding its universe. Fear the Walking Dead is gearing up for season 6, while a new spin-off, World Beyond, was scheduled to debut in April. However, it has since been delayed and has yet to be given a new debut date. On top of that, Andrew Lincoln is set to reprise his role as Rick Grimes in a trilogy of Walking Dead movies, the first of which is planned for a theatrical release. The flagship series has already been renewed for season 11. The original season 10 finale is expected to air later this year as a one-off special. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott at TVweb
Ryan Scott