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Why 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Premiere Ratings Are Misleading
10 October 2018, 09:44 | Max Haynes
‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9 Premiere Is the Lowest Rated in Series History
TL;DR: The number of people watching The Walking Dead Season 9 is almost back to the number of people who watched the show in Season 1, when it was first getting off the ground.
Just last month, CBS brass woke up to find the network's long-running powerhouse comedy The Big Bang Theory had lost 40 percent of its under-50 audience versus its previous season premiere, while companion series Young Sheldon dove 55 percent from its heavily hyped series opener. The Season 9 premiere was also down approximately 50% in the key demo and 47% in total viewers compared to the Season 8 opener, which drew a 5.0 and 11.4 million viewers past year.
The premiere episode was seen by 6.1 million viewers - down 47 percent from last fall's season 8 return, which was seen by more than 11 million people. Do the math and that's an all time season opener low., down 7% from the Season 1 debut. The Walking Dead season 9 may have fallen below the season 1 premiere in terms of the ratings, but its 6.1 million viewers still outdrew the 5.4 million viewers of the series premiere. 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.
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Though these numbers show a stark downward trend for AMC, its Premiere online subscription service had its biggest single day for new signups after the premiere episode was made available a full day prior to its televised debut.
The Walking Dead premiere has reached a new ratings low for the series. The best new showrunner Angela Kang can do is retain the not inconsequential number of fans who are still invested, especially after Andrew Lincoln's exit later this season.
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