The Walking Dead might not be going anywhere anytime soon, but neither are its ratings woes. After posting the least-watched premiere episode since the second season last week, Sunday's episode — "The Bridge" — hit yet another low for the series.
According to Variety, the episode's Live+Same Day ratings drew a score of 2.0 in the 18-49 demographic, the lowest it's ever been for the hit zombie series. The previous low was 2.4 back in Season 1, which was easily the least-watched year of the series.
"The Bridge" also drew in just 4.9 million total viewers, a 20 percent drop from the (already down) season premiere, and just 200,000 higher than the all-time low of 4.7 million, also set back in Season 1.
Now, as always with the murky realm of TV ratings, it's important to add a few caveats here. For one thing, the show is competing with juggernauts like Sunday Night Football right now, which means some viewers will put off watching it until the next day. For another, these numbers still aren't bad at all for a basic cable drama. Then of course, there's the overall Walking Dead brand to consider, which thanks to merchandising, events, and other tie-ins has become about so much more than one television show. With all that in mind, The Walking Dead is still very much alive.
Still, it's hard not to look at this as anything but a sign that the show is truly flagging, particularly after last season's steep decline in viewers (the show averaged less than 8 million viewers in Season 8) and the low numbers brought in by the season premiere a little more than a week ago.
Even with that in mind, though, AMC still has big plans for the franchise. After nearly a decade of stories, the network still wants to keep expanding, and perhaps with new characters and new worlds they can do that. When it comes to the flagship series, though, The Walking Dead's days seem numbered.