The ratings for the The Walking Dead's "Tara episode" are in, and I fear the viewership of the show has gotten much worse from its Season 7 debut. The first episode of the season "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" opened to the second highest ratings ever for the show, at a cool 17.03 million viewers, according to TV By The Numbers. Since then, the show has lost an average of a little more than 1 million viewers per episode, with the most drastic decrease occurring on episode 2, "The Well", which dropped approximately 4.5 million viewers. This could be occuring for a few different reasons.
First and foremost, when you kill off not only 1 but 2 fan favorite characters, people tend to swear a show off entirely. Boardwalk Empire should have taught us this, as I believe the killing of one of its best characters eventually got it canceled. Judging by the YouTube reaction videos to the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, one could easily assume that this current season would be in decline as some people swore the show off entirely.
Second, after years of watching Rick dominate every group he has run into we have been treated this year to Negan sliding something down ricks throat in the most violent of ways. Rick seems like a little kid when compared to Negan, losing Daryl and his 2 strongest companions to him, and it appears he has no clue as to what to do. Rick's apathy has spread to the group and we are all in a world of hurt cringing through every episode.
Finally, the pacing of this season is terrible. Many of the episodes have been about 1 or 2 characters alone, and not the whole group. This was great when we got Carol's "The Grove" episode a few years ago, but now we know most everything about the characters. I think that the standalone episodes have caused the season to drag on and annoyed fans of both the show and the comic. In fact, we have only gone through about 4 comic issues with half the shows being "TV made" episodes this year.
Lets keep in mind that the show is still the number 1 rated cable show, but a drop of 6 million+ viewers is significant. Fear not fans, as the 90-minute next episode entitled "Sing me a Song" should be getting us on the road to redemption. Even though it seems the episode will be highly Carl/Negan intensive, this will portray one of the fan's(including me) favorite comic issues. Hopefully, we see Carl come into his own like he did in the books!
I can't wait for this episode, and I predict the drop in ratings ends here. What do you guys think?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.