Make no mistake, The Walking Dead is still one of the biggest shows on television, but the hit series is continuing to show signs of waning interest. The show's seventh season just ended and didn't leave fans with a frustrating cliffhanger like it did last year, but that didn't help out in the ratings department. The Walking Dead season 7 finale saw a big drop off, representing the lowest rated finale for the series in five years.
According to Deadline, The Walking Dead's season 7 finale, "The First Day of The Rest of Your Life", brought in 11.3 million viewers in the live ratings. That is still a massive number but it represents a sharp decline from season 6 finale, which brought in 14.2 million viewers. The Walking Dead season 6 finale was also showing decline from the all-time high season 5 finale, which brought in 15.8 million viewers. 15.8 million to 11.3 million in just two years is a pretty steep decline, but AMC isn't going to hit the panic button just yet.
Despite the steep decline that The Walking Dead is facing in viewership, it is still a monster hit. The show, which is based on Robert Kirkman's best-selling Image Comics series of the same name, is still the highest-rated show on TV. The Walking Dead bests shows like The Big Bang Theory, Empire and this season's latest hit, This Is Us. So, until things get a whole lot worse, AMC is going to continue plugging away with season after season of the series, as well as the spin-off show Fear The Walking Dead, for as long as they possibly can.
It is also worth noting that The Walking Dead season 7 finale will probably do a lot better once the DVR and streaming numbers are factored in. The episode, which aired last Sunday night on AMC, was facing some very stiff competition in the form of WrestleMania and the Country Music Awards, which aired on CBS. Those events almost definitely took some attention away from the 90-minute Walking Dead finale, which was directed by Greg Nicotero. But still, this is the third lowest-rated finale in the history of the series, with only season 1 and season 2 of The Walking Dead having lower-rated finales. Those aired before the show really hit it huge in mainstream pop culture, so it is definitely significant that the series is showing signs of decline now.
The Walking Dead faced ratings issues all season, with overall ratings for the show hitting a four-year low at one point. Though, saying that AMC is having ratings issues with The Walking Dead is all relative because, as mentioned, the show is still a tremendous hit. Case in point, The Walking Dead has already been renewed for season 8, which is expected to air this fall. So, even though it looks like quite a few viewers have given up on the show, The Walking Dead is likely to continue for at least a few more years. And Fear the Walking Dead is already set for a Season 3 premiere this summer.