It’s been no secret that The Walking Dead has been taking a ratings’ hit in recent years.
Unsurprisingly, those ratings are at least slightly reflected in this year’s Fandom 250 rankings.
This year The Walking Dead fandom ranks 95th overall, down 80 spots from last year’s list. They also rank 6th among TV shows in descending order behind Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Stranger Things, WWE and The Office respectively.
Now while the declining ratings of the last couple seasons undoubtedly have played a part, there’s another factor to keep in mind.
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The Walking Dead was fortunate enough to come at a time when the zombie fad that dominated fandom throughout the early 2010s started to gain steam thanks to works like I Am Legend, Zombieland and yes, The Walking Dead.
This fad helped to make hits out of films like World War Z and Warm Bodies and even breathed new life into the Evil Dead franchise.
As it began to die down around 2015 though, studio fare like Pride, Prejudice and Zombies and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse fizzled at the box office (though admittedly it didn’t help that neither movie was very good, to begin with).
Even more telling though is that even the aforementioned hits haven’t exactly become thriving franchises. World War Z 2 has spent years stuck in development hell despite David Fincher attached to direct, a Warm Bodies sequel never got off the ground, Ash vs. Evil Dead wound up being canceled after just three seasons and we’re just now getting a Zombieland sequel next year.
So with casual fans moving on from zombies in general, it stands to reason folks would also stop watching a show often accused of being boring and repetitive.
However, even with all that working against it, AMC has not wavered from their stated plans to keep things going indefinitely, The Walking Dead remains one of the highest rated shows on cable and the ratings’ drops may have finally plateaued.
The much-anticipated ratings plummet from Andrew Lincoln’s exit earlier this season seems to have been avoided so far for the most part and the reception of the season as a whole has been a marked improvement from the previous couple years.
The fan base that stuck by the show for the much-maligned seasons 7 and 8 will probably be sticking around for the foreseeable future.
Do you agree with The Walking Dead’s spot on this list? Do you think it should be higher or lower? Give us your thoughts in the comment section.