Will The Walking Dead season 8 ratings improve or drop with the departure of Chandler Riggs and his character of Carl Grimes? There’s a legitimate case to be made for two different outcomes leading in the return of the show in one week’s time.
One thing feels pretty clear: The ratings probably will be larger for the episode on February 25, mostly because this marks one of the few times over the course of the series’ run that we’re entering an episode with a certain degree of certainly that we’re going to get to see a character go the way of the dodo. We don’t really see that very often but in this case, it feels abundantly clear. Carl is a goner. He was bit by a walker and he’s going to be falling sooner rather than later.
If you look across the entire Walking Dead season 8 ratings landscape at the moment, one of the significant trends is a downward one. Yet, the series posted its best numbers of the season in the fall with a 5.0 rating for the premiere. That’s about where we expect to see the series get back to for this episode. There’s going to be a natural curiosity to see how Carl dies, and we also think that there’s going to be a desire among even casual viewers who typically watch via DVR to see it live.
Will there be a drop after the episode? Almost certainly so. There are probably some viewers who are boycotting the show already, and without Carl we’ve got a feeling that there are going to be plenty more who opt to flock away from the series rather than continue to watch something that they view as a disappointment. Viewers often don’t want to check something out if they find the outcome unfavorable, so don’t be altogether shocked if there’s an exodus that comes with the end of Carl on the series, as well. We don’t necessarily think that’s fair to some of the other actors and performers, but sometimes there are consequences to decisions behind the scenes. Killing off Carl, one of the real moral compasses of the series, is still one that’s hard to grasp. Maybe it becomes clearer after the fact but who’s going to stick around in order to watch that?
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