Fear the Walking Dead has long had a less-than-great narrative around its ratings. It started off with great numbers after it came on after The Walking Dead proper, but some of those viewing figures have faded fast over time. It does better when it has a great lead-in, but when you look at the live viewers overall for a given season, there are almost always drops from the season before.
Through season 5 to date, the difference is staggering — we’re talking about a drop of more than 30% in live total viewers and 40% in the 18-49 demographic. Those are big drops! To think, we haven’t even arrived to the start of the NFL season yet and those could hurt the numbers more. While the show may make some of the difference up when it comes to DVR viewing and streaming figures, it’s going to be hard to compensate for so big of a difference.
Then, there’s the reporting from this past episode — one that we actually felt was one of the better ones this season. We’re talking a 0.3 rating in the live demo and just around 1.14 total viewers. These are the lowest figures we’ve seen so far this season.
So why are the ratings for this show suffering? Sure, there’s a part of it that is zombie burnout — when you combine this show and The Walking Dead proper, that’s more than 30 episodes of zombie-related programming within a single year on AMC. (To think, there is another spin-off coming in 2020.) There’s also the notion that there is no clear finish line in sight. Our feeling is that viewers are more inclined to stay invested if they know where things are going, and that’s long been a problem with Fear the Walking Dead — confusion over where things are going! The Big Bads have not been super-captivating the past couple of years and since there’s no source material, there’s little direction. We think that while the individual episodes are pretty solid, it can be hard sometimes for viewers to get invested in longer arcs without a clear sense of direction. Maybe that changes in the already-announced season 6 — it may need to, in order to stop the metaphorical bleeding.
What do you think about the latest Fear the Walking Dead season 5 ratings?
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