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SYFY WIRE The Walking Dead Season 9

The Walking Dead: Even the Whisperers cannot raise the volume on record-low ratings

By Josh Weiss
The Walking Dead Season 9 Alpha and the Whisperers

Even with the introduction of the Whisperers during the second half of The Walking Dead's ninth season, the post-apocalyptic series is still struggling with its ratings.

In fact, last Sunday's episode — "Omega" — recorded "its smallest total audience and adults 18-49 rating in its nine-season history," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The follow-up to the midseason premiere ("Adaptation") only managed to garner around 4.54 million viewers, despite our first good look at Samantha Morton's new antagonist Alpha.

The last episode to hold the non-coveted record of smallest viewership was the second episode of the first season in 2010, which only nabbed an estimated 4.71 million audience members. The November 18 episode — "Stradivarius" — was the last one to hold the record for the inability to draw in adults 18-49.

AMC's been struggling with The Walking Dead's ratings ever since Season 9 premiered back in October with another series low point. The departure of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes helped boost viewership for a brief period before it dropped off again. Danai Gurira is also leaving the show, giving up her role as Michonne after Season 10.

Even in light of its persistent ratings problem, the zombie-based drama was recently named the "most in-demand" network television show on the planet at the National Association of Television Program Executives convention in Miami, Florida. It's also important to remember that, even with its reduced numbers, The Walking Dead is still a success — just nowhere near as popular as it was at its prime.

The next episode — "Bounty" — airs this Sunday evening on AMC.