The ratings are in for The Walking Dead season 9 premiere are in, and there is one big takeaway we have at the moment: This is not the same show that it once was. Not even the impending exit of original cast member Andrew Lincoln could do anything to move up the numbers significantly.
The first episode of this season ended up generating a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which actually would have been incredible for any other show on cable. For The Walking Dead, however, this number is a little less than stellar. It is down a whopping 50% from the season 8 premiere audience, and then also down over 25% from the season 8 average of the show. Typically, there is an improvement in the ratings in the premiere, at least in comparison to episodes that aired at the end of the prior season, but that didn’t happen here. The news of Lincoln’s exit, coupled with heavy competition including the Dallas Cowboys / Houston Texans game on Sunday, seemed to be enough to convince some casual Walking Dead fans that they don’t really want to watch live anymore.
We do think that there will be a small bump coming in the future courtesy of Lincoln’s final episode, but after that, these ratings could fall much further. There are, after all, a strong contingent of people who do feel that without Andrew on board, the show ceases to be what it was and really ceases to exist in the same way. This is certainly a group of people who have to be acknowledged, at least if this show wants to register as a hit on the level in which it’s been.
Granted, at the same time it is fairly hard for The Walking Dead to do anything about a cast member who decides that he wants to leave after being a part of the show for some time.
What do you think when it comes to The Walking Dead season 9 premiere ratings over at AMC? Be sure to share some of your thoughts right away in the attached comments. (Photo: AMC.)