We don’t think any sane person with knowledge of television ratings can dispute the impact of “The Walking Dead” on television. It has been an undisputed game-changer for AMC, and has shown that cable television can compete with the big boys. To go along with all of that, people are talking about zombies again! It feels like a rather long time since that has happened.
The reality here, though, is that all shows must come to an end eventually, and while this show is still enormously popular, you do need to consider that it may be on the decline. Just remember for a minute or two that we’re entering season 7, and in terms of live+same day numbers, season 6 was down almost 12% in the key 18-49 demographic from the one before it. Granted, it’s still the #1 drama on TV by a steady margin, but you want to end things on top and before other shows start to look as though they’re challenging you.
So could the ending be here in the next couple of years? Probably not, mostly because we have heard almost nothing about it. Also, the show just unveiled Negan, who is arguably the most infamous villain they’ve brought over from the comics since The Governor. The hope here is that his presence will reinvigorate things slightly after a polarizing season 6, one that contained a dissatisfying fake-out with Glenn and a cliffhanger that really didn’t need to be a cliffhanger at all.
We suppose that maybe come season 9 or so, the show should start thinking about the right way to tie things up. Maybe we’re not meant to see if there is a way to stop the zombie apocalypse, but after everything that we have seen Rick Grimes and company go through, we do like to imagine that there could be some sort of hope … even just the tiniest amount. Otherwise, what has been the point of this whole journey, other than learning that humanity will do whatever it needs to in order to survive? That’s a point we could have told you before even watching the pilot.
Do you think we’re entering the home stretch of “The Walking Dead,” and if so, how many seasons do you envision it happening? Let us know in the comments.
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