(WARNING: Spoilers below for those who haven't watched Season 7, Episodes 1–5 of The Walking Dead)
AMC's The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere absolutely killed it in terms of TV ratings. A whopping 17.03 million viewers tuned in to see who would fall victim to Negan's barbwire-wrapped bat, Lucille. What's crazy is that Negan didn't just kill Glenn and Abraham, but viewership too.
The big story right now is that viewership has declined drastically and steadily for The Walking Dead since the Season 7 premiere. Approximately 5 million viewers decided to say adios to Rick and the gang between Episodes 1 and 2 — the biggest viewership drop-off experienced by the show ever! Don't freak out though, #AMC isn't going to cancel the show any time soon because shows averaging at least 5 million viewers per episode are considered successful. As shown in the graph below, #TheWalkingDead has got the 5 million viewer average beat by miles of ripped out intestines.
Although the ratings are still strong, they are dipping down to Season 3 levels, which is a sign that viewership is dying off. So why such a decline in viewership? One of the reasons being put forth is because the episodes since the premiere have mainly focused on one or two characters, and not the entire gang. I like that reason a lot actually, but if we look at the sale of the comic, the same type of drop in interest is not occurring. In fact, the comic is currently surging in sales.
Should Glenn Have Died?
It was in Issue #100 of The Walking Dead published in July of 2012 that Glenn got taken out. According to Comichron, approximately 335,082 copies of the issue were sold, making it the No. 1 selling comic for the month. Not even the super-powered heroes of Marvel or DC Comics came close to selling as many copies of a single issue. To put it simply, hoards of readers devoured Issue 100.
Interestingly, the following month, Issue #101 of The Walking Dead plummeted in sales, dropping to 31st place, with an approximate 51,732 copies of the issue being sold.
Now, it's not unusual for a monumental comic book issue (such as a 100th issue) to sell above average. During the time period of January–June 2012, The Walking Dead was increasing in its monthly sales. In January, an estimated 31,596 copies of an issue were being sold, but by June 2012 approximately 55,710 copies of an issue were being sold per month. So the sale of Issue #101 at 51,000 copies fell within the average for mid-2012.
To answer the question: "Should Glenn have died?" The answer is yes and here is why.
Fast-Forward To The Present
Although viewers may have been disgusted and turned off by the death of Glenn, it seems as though it helped to propel The Walking Dead comic further in sales. Maybe the readers have a stronger stomach for violence? Who knows. What I do know is that since Glenn's death in the comic, the sale of The Walking Dead has grown steadily. Last month, the comic sold an estimated 91,291 copies of Issue #159, almost double in sales compared to 2012.
Now I'm not naive enough to think that the death of Glenn is the sole reason that the comic has been seeing an increase in sales. I'm sure that the sale of the comic has a lot to do with the popularity of the show since 2012, and the twist and turns that the comic has that don't always make it into the show. However, I find it interesting that the comic is seeing an increase in readership while the show is experiencing a decline in viewership.
What do you think, is 'The Walking Dead' comic better than the show right now?
Curious as to what will happen this season? Check out what the comics have in store in the video below:
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