Walking Dead or Walking Disaster?

By: Michael Gille

Over the years AMC hit television series The Walking Dead have won numerous awards and broke a plethora of records, such as…. The show, which started back on Halloween in 2010, follows Rick Grimes and his gang through the apocalyptic environment of America following a group of  Starting off in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, the group is now in the D.C area in communities that work together to survive this new world.

A show as well made and awarded a show such as The Walking Dead is should survive as long as the comic book series that it is based off, right? Unfortunately the show has been faced with declining viewership since the death of a beloved character at the end of season 7. “The show started season 7 with 17 million viewers, by season 8’s mid-season finale the show was down to 8.3 million viewers” (Forbes.com). It’s been in a steady decline since then. Season 9’s mid season finale had just 5.1 million viewers” (Variety.com). These numbers confused AMC because they followed the comics closely to keep loyal fans happy. The fans revolted with the way the show handled a crucial scene involving the death of a main character, holding you in suspense as the season finale wrapped up and no answers would be solved until season 8. This move was of a cheap shot to make sure the viewers would be back for season 8.

So what’s killing The Walking Dead?

For beginners, disappointment. The show has strayed too far away from the comics, something, that I mentioned earlier, they were known for doing. In the beginning of the show’s run, fans were happy to see their favorite comics being made into a live action show. Important characters and scenes were brought to life and in many instances the show was a direct adaption of the comics, using camera angles to get the right shots. As the show carried on, however, changes started happening, with how the story would play out and now it just seems like a mess that AMC is trying to fix rather than give it an ending that the show deserves. The scene mentioned earlier involved a character’s death was poorly executed, some even claiming the show killed one of the most important scenes in the comics. The scene, which in the beginning of the show, would be played out the same as the comics, happened differently, upsetting many of the core fans.

Following the death scene the show unraveled, having number of viewers drop by millions during every season or mid season break after the season 7 finale.

The show had a long running but seeing the decline in viewership it may be time to put an end to this zombie.


‘Walking Dead’ Hits New Midseason Finale Ratings Low in Season 9



2 thoughts on “Walking Dead or Walking Disaster?

  1. Last year I was watching TV with my parents. They were catching up on some shows and I was surprised to learn that The Walking Dead was still on. I stopped watching around Season 4 and I thought it would come to an end after a few seasons. Instead, I learned it was going on its 10th season with no end in sight. When I asked my parents why they still watch the show, they said that they haven’t like it for a while, but they want to see how it ends after spending so much time watching it. Like you said, the ratings have declined, but it’s still a cash cow for AMC. I personally don’t think any show needs 10 seasons, especially when there are 16 episodes in a season. It just seems like AMC won’t let The Walking Dead die because its ratings aren’t low enough yet and they can still make money from it. From AMC’s perspective, I get it, creating a successful show with a large fanbase is hard, but I don’t think dragging a show out for as long as possible is very compelling and I think it will negatively impact how people view the series when they look back at it.
    – Melissa Viger


  2. For my second article I also touched on the viewership of the Walking Dead and I found it interesting you brought up how the show has strayed too far away from the comics when it comes to storylines and more specifically character deaths. Personally, I see how straying away from the comics can be a good thing in the sense that it keeps the audience guessing, rather than knowing what’s coming due to them reading ahead in the comics. However, there are plenty of examples of the show straying away from the comics, or even tweaking certain storylines with characters or story arcs in general which have not gone over well. Watching the show I’ve seen the biggest example of this be character deaths, and more specifically, unnecessary character deaths. I don’t want to touch on any spoilers but I’m assuming if you’ve watched the last couple of seasons you can get a sense of which characters I’m talking about. Like I said I get that this is done in an attempt to shake things up a bit, but as you touched on, fans mores want to see what they read in the pages of the comic come to life on the TV, not a similar story with sometimes drastic changes to scenes or characters.
    – Ryan Salvaggio


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