Despite premiering with one of the most watched episodes of the entire series, it appears that #TheWalkingDead Season 7 has been experiencing a rather sharp downhill decline in ratings. In fact, the decline of the #AMC series has been so rapid that the most recent episode of the show had ratings lower than some episodes from Season 3.
Despite the controversy of the Season 6 cliffhanger, AMC proved that intrigued is a sure-fire way to gain viewers when 17.03 million people tuned into learn who Negan's victim was in the Season 7 premiere. These numbers made Episode 1, "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" the second most-watched episode of the entire series, runner up only to the Season 5 premiere which had 17.29 million viewers back in 2014.
However, those ratings highs quickly declined for the show, with 12.5 million people viewing Episode 2, "The Well," and 11.72 million people watching a broken Daryl in Episode 3, "The Cell." Episode 4, "Service" fared no better with 11.4 million tuning in, and finally this week in Episode 5, "Go Getters" the decline continued with 11 million tuning in - ratings comparable to Season 3, Episode 15 which had 10.99 million viewers back in 2013.
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While The Walking Dead is still far and away the most-watched TV series on Sunday night cable television (the next closest was its aftershow, The Talking Dead with 3.7 million), the sharp decline in ratings could be an indication that audiences may finally be reaching a saturation point with the series. However, it could also have something to do with the decidedly less action-packed episodes the series has produced following the explosive season premiere.
The last four episodes of The Walking Dead have jumped around from community to community, and have put more of a focus on character and plot development, instead of opting for pure action sequences. While there's no doubt that eventually the show will return to its gory roots, the question now is whether or not the ratings will return with it.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 6, "Swear" on November 27 at 9pm ET.