The most recent season of The Walking Dead had ratings that lurched as half-heartedly (or no-heartedly) as its zombies’ horror predecessors. Even its intensely twisted midseason finale couldn’t save the show from turning in record-low numbers. But is Skybound Entertainment (the production company behind the show) CEO David Alpert worried? I wouldn’t bet your life on it.
In a conversation with Variety on the podcast “Remote Controlled”, Alpert was questioned about dwindling ratings during the show’s eighth season. Alpert responded by noting that the media ecosystem has shifted away from a focus on first-run audiences, saying that “decline in urgency across all media to consume something at a specific time” makes depending solely on ratings an “anachronistic” disservice to fans.
Many fans record the show or catch up at their own rate, Alpert said, referencing anecdotes about being approached at cons by viewers a few seasons behind but no less enthusiastic. Because of this, Alpert isn’t concerned at all about the show’s future - nor about the future of The Walking Dead brand.
His commitment to “connect digitally with our fans to find out what they want and serve them content from great creators, media agnostic” speaks to the company’s willingness to spin TWD into whatever means best reaches the fans, even if the numbers seem a bit off to conventional eyes. Highlighting The Walking Dead video games as particular favorites, Alpert said that the zombie world his company is creating with Robert Kirkman is as vital as ever.