Walking Dead season 9 premiere loses almost half its audience

Brenda Watkins
October 10, 2018

The Season 9 premiere did, however, bring in more total viewers than the series premiere-6.1 million versus the 5.3 million that tuned in to see the beginning of the AMC series. They represent the lowest start to a season of the show to date; the previous low was the first season's 2.7 demo rating.

The Season 9 opener was down a whopping 50% versus the Season 8 premiere in terms of ratings, and 47% in total viewers-the Season 8 premiere drew in 11.4 million viewers a year ago. It was also down double digits from the Season 8 Live+Same Day average, which was a 3.4 and 7.8 million viewers. Do the math and that's an all time season opener low., down 7% from the Season 1 debut. But that's still a steep drop from the series' heyday in seasons three through seven, which regularly pulled in double-digit numbers and topped out at 17.29 million viewers for the Season 5 premiere. Even up against broadcast fare, its premiere will rank among the top-five openers this fall among adults under 50 (NBC's This Is Us had a bigger premiere, while Dead tied The Big Bang Theory's rating in the demo).

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The Walking Dead returned for its ninth season on Sunday, but many of its former fans have apparently checked out. "A New Beginning" made The Walking Dead the top-rated show on Sunday night and also drove the single highest day of new sign-ups in the history of AMC Premiere, which released the season nine premiere commercial-free 24 hours before its Sunday timeslot.

In the admitted absence of those hard numbers, but with an anecdotical look around social media this weekend and the realities of TV viewing in 2018, it doesn't take much to make the leap that a not insignificant portion of the hardcore TWD fanbase opted for the early look option.

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