‘The Walking Dead’ season 7 premiere: Will Negan return lead to monster ratings?

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The premiere of “The Walking Dead” is coming your direction on AMC Sunday night, and it’s becoming all the more clear over time that this is really going to be a story all about Negan even if he just shows up for two minutes and does a victory dance on his way out the door. The mystery surrounding who he is killing has become the stuff that TV history is made of. Everyone’s talking about it at length, and we hope that it’s something that the show gives us a little bit of further information about in the near future.

For the sake of this particular article, one question that we have for you is relatively simple: What are the ratings going to be? Are we going to see them reach new and monstrous heights? If we had to chart out a number, we’d say that a 7.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic is probably what AMC is hoping for — we think it’ll come in closer to around a 6.6. The ratings haven’t hit a 7.0 since the start of season 6, and unless a bunch of viewers caught up over the summer and are coming back, we don’t see that happening.

Maybe we’re wrong about this and we will see “The Walking Dead” ultimately score past this milestone in the premiere; if that turns out to be the case, we imagine that the show will have a hard time reaching the 8.7 rating that it had at the start of season 7, a number that we still consider to be a high-water mark for the show that will be tough to beat. That’s the sort of rating that no primetime show since has managed to top in the live+same day figures, even if we’ve seen some monster hits out there like “Empire” and “Game of Thrones.”

For those wondering, we presume that we will have a definite report on “The Walking Dead” and its premiere ratings by Tuesday at the latest. Stay tuned!

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