The Walking Dead season 8 finale didn't leave fans with a frustrating cliffhanger, but that still wasn't enough to prevent another ratings drop for the AMC series. The season 8 finale episode Wrath drew in the lowest ratings for the show since The Walking Dead concluded its first season. While the show still remains one of the biggest hits on TV, this shows a continuing trend of views turning away from the show. Can AMC win viewers back next season?

7.8 million viewers reportedly tuned in to watch Rick and Negan's presumably final confrontation on The Walking Dead season 8 finale. That marks a decline from the season 7 finale, which drew in 11.3 million viewers. The only season to have a lower-rated finale is season 1, which brought in 6 million viewers when it concluded. The next-lowest finale was season 2, which scored 9 million viewers in 2012. So, even though The Walking Dead still managed to be the number one show on TV that night, AMC has reason to perhaps be a little bit worried moving forward.

When looking at the season 5 finale of The Walking Dead, which brought in a series-high 15.8 million viewers in 2015, that makes this season's ratings all the more troubling. Season 8 of the series, which is adapted from the Image Comics series of the same name by creator Robert Kirkman, averaged 7.8 million viewers per episode for the season. Again, that still makes it easily one of the biggest shows on cable right now, but considering how rapidly the ratings are declining, it's worth paying attention to. Especially considering that AMC has hopes to continue the series for many more seasons.

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What may wind up being helpful is that the show is heading in a totally new direction and could be getting something of a very soft reboot next season. Scott M. Gimple, who now oversees the whole Walking Dead universe for AMC, has said that season 9 of the series will be totally different. It hasn't been revealed whether or not we'll see a time jump just yet, but they're leaning hard on the idea that this will be a new beginning. The Walking Dead season 9 will need to do a lot in order to win back some of the many viewers they've lost in recent years.

On the bright side, Fear the Walking Dead season 4, which featured a crossover by way of the character Morgan, saw its ratings increase upon its premiere. The spin-off series earned 4. Million viewers, which represents more than a 30 percent increase over last season. The Walking Dead season 9 will have a new showrunner in the form of Angela Kang, but AMC has yet to set a premiere date for the upcoming run of new episodes. Hopefully, this new beginning of sorts will manage to breathe new life into the show. This news comes to us courtesy of Variety

Ryan Scott