The Walking Dead is one of the highest-rated TV shows on the planet right now (that is, until the zombie apocalypse), but viewership is dying off. Last week was the mid-season premiere of Season 7, which grabbed in 15.9 million viewers in Nielsen’s Live+3 ratings, and 9.9 million viewers in the 18–49 demographic. Although this is a 5 percent uptick in ratings from the mid-season finale, the mid-season premiere for Season 6 drew 19.1 million viewers in Nielsen's Live+3 ratings, and 12.3 million viewers in the 19-49 demographic; that's a hefty 17 percent decline in total viewers. This begs the question: Why are TWD viewers slowly dying off?
Below are just some of the possible reasons that people are following away from the horde of viewers that continually tune into #TheWalkingDead.
Seven Seasons Of Redundancy
Seven seasons is a milestone for any television series, especially for a #horror show that's basically about walking around, finding food and seeking shelter. What else is there to do during an apocalypse? Not much else except avoid the walkers and the unfriendly hillbillies.
Since the characters we care about are untouchable until the season premiere or finale — when they run into a horde of walkers or face a bunch of pissed-off bikers — we know nothing will happen to them. Hence, the episodes between the premiere and finale are filled will Rick and the gang going out to scavenge, coming across a zombie obstacle course, and narrowly escaping it to get what they need. How many times have we seen that? Too many. It's almost comical to watch at this point. Unfortunately, the episodes between the premiere and finale are becoming redundant to watch and filled with false drama.
Filler Episodes That Lack Importance
TWD show has become known for a shocking premiere and a jaw-dropping finale. That's cool and all, but it doesn't foster viewers to tune in every week. In contrast, each issue of the comic ends with a cliffhanger that hooks you to buy the next. The show needs to start incorporating more of the unexpected into each show, and end them with stronger hook to get viewership back on track. Maybe an episode can end with the fate of a main character in the balance, and during the following episode they die (instead of hiding under a dumpster). By doing something like that, it would make tuning in each week important again.
The Comic Are Too Far Ahead Of The Show
The Walking Dead comic is currently at Issue #164. The show is about 53 issues back, portraying events that happened in Issue #111. This means that those reading the comic already know what will happen in the next couple seasons, leaving little to the imagination.
For seven seasons now, comic readers have seen their characters come to life, and watched some of the most memorable moments of the comics play out in live-action. Maybe the idea of watching something you already read is beginning to have less appeal than waiting for the next comic to be released that contains the unknown.
The Show Is Too Much Like The Comic
So far, the show has remained somewhat close to what has happened in the comic, except for a few things. This is both good and bad. It's bad because those that have read the comic can become bored with the predictability of the show's events. The show has a greater level of entertainment when it doesn't follow the comics.
Ridiculous Plot Holes And Fake Outs
Remember back in Season 6, Episode 8 when Rosita, Tara and Eugene charge into a room armed to the teeth with guns to save Denise, who was taken captive by one of the knife-wielding Wolves? Remember what happened next? Everyone laid down their guns because one guy had a knife. Really? Come on. How many times have we seen Rosita, Tara and Eugene fire a perfectly aimed headshot into a zombie from miles away? Yet, when they come within feet of an enemy they can't do the same? Not believable, but then again, we are watching a show about zombies.
We've already talked about the fake outs — one of the biggest ones being Glenn falling into a swarm of walkers only to survive somehow by crawling under a dumpster. The wink-wink, nod-nod, "we tricked ya, didn't we?" story elements could be wearing on some, especially after the Season 6 finale when it wasn't revealed who Negan killed.