From the moment that “The Walking Dead” posted its second-best ratings of the entire series with an 8.4 in the 18-49 demographic for the premiere, one thing felt clear: We were in for a pretty big fall week two. There were several different reasons for that.
1. So much hype over the summer revolved around why Negan would be killing. Now that this mystery was out of the way, some of the buzz surrounding the show would start to dissipate a little bit.
2. We weren’t even going to see the same characters featured anymore. This time around, we’d be transitioning over to things featuring Morgan and Carol over at The Kingdom. They’re lovely characters, but them meeting King Ezekiel and seeing this world wasn’t quite the same sort of appointment-viewing.
3. The World Series and NFL football featuring the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Sports is the immovable object for almost every primetime scripted show. Unless Negan’s killing somebody, it’s really hard to convince people to watch you live.
After all this buildup, let’s go ahead and hand out the facts: This past episode drew a 6.1 rating in the demo, which is still pretty darn fantastic and better than any other scripted show on TV. With that, it’s easy to pay no mind to the decrease, or that it is down slightly from the 6.2 that the second episode of last season received. The more interesting case study will be next week given that Negan’s back (watch a promo for it here), the World Series is over, and the Sunday night NFL game doesn’t feature the Cowboys — sure, other teams get ratings too, but they’re well-known for being vacuums in this department.
Ultimately, we mostly just like to track “Walking Dead” ratings because they’re so massive, and there’s no other time to do that. There is no danger of the show ending; it was already renewed by AMC for an eight season. (Photo: AMC.)