Ratings Progress Report: Does ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ inspire confidence, terror entering season 2?

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For the majority of the articles in our Ratings Progress Report series, we are looking at shows that are still currently airing this fall. However, we’re making an exception for AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” given the interesting expectations that it had entering the season, and the fact that it only had six episodes and is therefore still somewhat of an unknown.

Is this a show destined to deliver more big ratings and carry the legacy of Robert Kirkman’s work further; or, is this set to be in for a steep dive moving into season 2? We’re going to look at this argument from both sides.

The good news – For season 1, the show averaged around a 3.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic. That’s amazing. The only network shows that consistently do that are “Empire” and “The Big Bang Theory” in live+same day numbers. It is also retained fairly well given the hype surrounding it. It went from a 4.9 rating for the premiere to a 3.3 for its lowest-rated episode. Ultimately, losing 33% of your demo audience in your first season is not really that strange for a freshman show; it just looks worse since you had a series that started so big this time. Ask “Agents of SHIELD” or “Supergirl” about how the mighty can fall after just a week or two.

One other thing that “Fear the Walking Dead” will have going for it going into season 2 is a lack of huge competition in the summer. “True Detective” won’t be back around the same time, and we cannot really name something that will take away from the show in any form.

The bad news – We do have to be realistic here about two things: The “Walking Dead” name is a big part of the reason for these ratings, and to go along with that, this show may have lost more viewers if it went longer than six episodes. It is hard to say. Shows always lose viewers from one season to the next, and with season 1 leaving fans somewhat polarized, there is always a chance that season 2 loses a huge chunk just from the hiatus alone. We’ve seen this year with shows like “The Leftovers” and “Fargo” that are actually really great.

What do you think the future holds for “Fear the Walking Dead” season 2? Share in the comments, and head over here if you want to get some further TV news on everything we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: AMC.)


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