Apparently the death of Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) didn’t take The Walking Dead off life support, as the 10th episode of the show’s eighth season drew record lows. Sunday’s episode, “The Lost and the Plunderers,” drew a 2.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.8 million viewers in the Nielsen Live+Same Day numbers, Variety is reporting. That’s the lowest rating in that key demographic the show has seen since its first season back in 2010.
Now, that doesn’t mean the show is a walker just yet. First of all, the episode was up against the Oscars, so it had some aggressively stiff competition. Plus, The Walking Dead is still quite popular — the most-watched cable show of the night, in fact.
However, the last time The Walking Dead drew less than a 3.0 rating was the Season 1 episode “Wildfire,” which drew a 2.8. The last time the show drew less than 7 million viewers was the Season 2 episode “Better Angels,” which averaged 6.9 million.
And now for some more bad news: The Walking Dead has been breaking all sorts of records — just not the right ones. The Season 8 midseason premiere was the lowest-rated midseason premiere in the series’ history, putting up a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers. Viewership for this week’s episode dropped roughly 20 percent from last week’s midseason premiere.
Previously, the Season 8 midseason finale was the show’s lowest-rated since Season 2. And even though the Season 8 premiere was also the show’s 100th episode, it didn’t do much good, as it was also the show’s lowest-rated since its third season.
This follows the news that the show isn’t being as heavily pirated as it had been in the past. In October, it was reported that The Walking Dead’s Season 8 opener was globally downloaded 42 percent less than it was for the premiere of Season 7: 774,685 users worldwide, versus 1.33 million the year before.
So, although the show’s not dead yet, if these numbers continue to decline, AMC may be forced to take some drastic measures. Here’s hoping that’s not the case.