ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, one of the more peculiar instincts of Hollywood — and the industry in particular — is to bring its leading lights down a peg or two. Once something has gone up, it seems almost impossible for key industry folks, critics and even fans to restrain themselves from bringing it right back down again. In some cases, that manifests itself in snubbing comes awards season (in the fashion of La La Land's recent loss of the Best Picture Oscar to the equally deserving, but less widely heralded Moonlight, say), while in others it takes the form of heavy criticism of high yet "disappointing" box office or .

's , for instance, has spent much of its most recent seventh season fighting off criticism of its rapidly dwindling ratings, having dropped from a high of 17 million for its Season 7 premiere to a far less advertiser-friendly 10 to 12 million in recent weeks. With February 12's mid-season premiere showing something of a rebound in fortunes, though, it's worth noting that:

'The Walking Dead' Is Still Getting Great Ratings — If You Give It A Week

'The Walking Dead' [Credit: AMC]
'The Walking Dead' [Credit: AMC]

Indeed, it turns out that when you factor in the show's Live +7 numbers (meaning the number of viewers who watched the show live, plus those who opted to watch it over the following seven days instead) the show is still garnering roughly 17 million viewers, with the mid-season premiere's initial 12 million going up to a far more solid-sounding 16.8 million. That means that not only are roughly 17 million people legally viewing The Walking Dead over the course of its first week, but that it's possible, just possible, that advocates of the show's commercial decline may be speaking a little too soon.

The only problem with that logic, of course? The show's Season 7 premiere ultimately managed to increase its total viewers from 17 million to 21.5 million over the same Live +7 window, making the show's drop in ratings more or less exactly what we thought it was. So, sure, we can absolutely say that The Walking Dead is still doing as well as it was at its ratings peak, but only if we intentionally fail to compare like to like.

On the plus side for AMC, though, 17 million viewers is still an absolutely massive total for a cable network, so, y'know, things aren't that bad.

What do you think, though? Are you concerned about The Walking Dead's ratings slide? Let us know below!

(Sources: TV By The Numbers, x2)


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