The Walking Dead: 5 reasons for the ratings drop

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Episode 10 of Season 8 took a significant ratings tumble Sunday night. Here are five reasons as to why The Walking Dead is not being eaten alive by the masses anymore.

Sunday night wasn’t a positive evening for showbiz. The 90th Academy Awards saw it’s lowest ratings turnout in the ceremony’s history and The Walking Dead continues to look like a dead show walking when you consider it’s dwindling fan base.

As a matter of fact, the once massive hit has seen it’s lowest ratings since the penultimate episode of Season 1. Season one. The popularity of the show sure looked much brighter back then, but now it’s on the opposite side of the bell curve.

This past Sunday, TWD was only able to capture a 2.9 rating in the coveted 18-49 age demographic. Collider breaks down some of the numbers for you:

"The last time the series fell below a 3.0 rating was Season 1’s penultimate episode “Wildfire,” which drew a 2.8 rating. Even looking just at the total number of viewers, that 6.8 million is a low we haven’t seen since the Season 2 episode “Better Angels,” which hit 6.89 million viewers."

Eesh. That’s six years of higher viewership. However, Collider‘s Adam Chitwood does keep an optimistic outlook:

"Moreover, while The Walking Dead ratings hit a new low, it was still easily the top-rated and most-watched cable show of Sunday by far. When you look at the TV landscape as a whole, and the uniqueness of actual appointment-viewing television, The Walking Dead is still far from being on life support"

Not on life support? Sure, but losing a massive amount of their fan base? That’s something to be extremely concerned about. Viewing habits have rapidly changed, but there is plenty of finger pointing to go around.

(Warning: Spoilers to follow, my friends)

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

1. Character story arcs are all sorts of screwed up

Pick any character on the show and you will find that they are not the same one you rooted for when they were at their best. Take Daryl for example: with a show containing so many cast members, everyone’s favorite bow-toting redneck had a lot of layers to him. He formed unique bonds with the likes of Carol, Beth and Aaron. Relationships like that gave him more of purpose than just some backwoods boy burying a bowie knife in an undead skull.

Recently? Daryl’s been just a worker bee. Nothing pushes him forward but survival and the mass killing of Saviors. Fine for a supporting character, but Daryl is a keystone of series. His story has been one of the major forces that drive The Walking Dead. What we’ve been seeing out of Daryl has been half-cooked at best.

Decisions, Decisions…

And don’t get me started on the universally wide indecisiveness. “Do we kill or don’t we kill?” The Watching Dead podcast by Bald Move labels this phenomenon as “Morgalizing” (since Morgan has been the most guilty of such a character crime).

From Rick, to Jesus, to even Negan, everyone has “Morgalized” a time or two. Additionally, there is no sound reason as to who our heroes are going to worry about 86ing.

Even as recent as “Honor” we had Carol and Ezekiel show concern for Gavin, Negan’s weapon guy. I’m not going out on a limb by stating the audience has about zero attachment to Gavin. Rick’s gang has killed plenty. Fretting over a foe’s existence should mean very little at this point in the race. Unfortunately, we got at least 30 minutes of that “him-haw” two Sundays ago with the two-dimensional Gavin. Talk about filler.