“The Walking Dead” Season 8 midseason premiere continued to suffer the ratings woes that have plagued the rest of the season.
According to Nielsen Live+Same Day data, Sunday’s premiere drew a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers. That is up slightly from the midseason finale ratings (3.4, 7.9 million) in December, but was still the lowest-rated “Walking Dead” midseason premiere to date.
The drop off comes despite the fact that a major character departed the show during the episode after revealing a walker bite in the midseason finale.
Nevertheless, “The Walking Dead” remained far and above the number one show on TV for the day and easily the top-rated show on cable Sunday. Its closest cable competition was its own after show, “Talking Dead,” which drew a 1.5 rating and 3.6 million viewers. In addition, “The Walking Dead” remains the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the sixth season in a row.
Previously, the Season 8 midseason finale was the hit show’s lowest-rated since Season 2. The Season 8 premiere was also the show’s lowest-rated since its third season, despite the fact that the Season 8 opener was also the show’s 100th episode.
In January, AMC announced that series showrunner Scott Gimple is being elevated to the newly created role of chief content officer, overseeing the entire “Walking Dead” television universe, including “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” and potential brand extensions on a variety of platforms. Angela Kang, who has been a writer on the show since 2011 and co-executive producer since 2013, is being promoted by Gimple to executive producer and showrunner of “The Walking Dead,” starting with Season 9.
As it currently stands, the midseason premieres rank as follows (by demo rating):
Season 4 (2014)– 8.2 rating, 15.8 million viewers
Season 5 (2015)– 8.0 rating, 15.6 million viewers
Season 6 (2016)– 6.8 rating, 13.7 million viewers
Season 3 (2013)– 6.1 rating, 12.3 million
Season 7 (2017)– 5.7 rating, 12 million viewers
Season 2 (2012)– 4.2 rating, 8.1 million viewers
Season 8 (2018)– 3.6 rating, 8.3 million viewers
Season 1 consisted of only six episodes and therefore did not have a midseason finale or premiere.