Broadcast Ratings for the season 9 premiere were at an all time low, which at first seemed to indicate that the series had lost close to half its followers.   But it’s not all bad news; AMC offered the season premiere a day early, if you subscribed to the new AMC PREMIERE subscription service for $4.99 a month, and there were a lot of takers.  So those fans watched online, and didn’t bother with the cable broadcast.  So the numbers aren’t quite as bleak as they appear. Also, delayed DVR viewing numbers have yet to come in. That will give overall viewership a boost too.  But the hard truth is this: The Walking Dead is no longer the most watched series on TV.

I blame Negan and Lucille.  Nobody likes Negan, yet he’s been shoved down our throats since he used Lucille to bash in the heads of our boys Glenn and Abraham.  And their deaths were so graphic and hurtful, half the people in my weekly viewing party walked away from the show and never looked back.  The other half of the weekly viewing party fell away gradually, losing interest in Negan’s war.  And Carl’s death became yet another jumping off point.  Twelve devoted fans, who met every Sunday Night the show was on , dwindled down to two.  And the promo’s for the new season seem to imply that Negan’s about to rise again, instead of going the way of the hated Gregory. So neither of us plan on “hanging” on once Rick departs. Pun Intended.

Whatever the reason, the ratings drop is bad news for AMC. Their stocks dropped 10% because of the decline in viewership.  And when Rick leaves the show, how many more fans will leave with him? That may depend on how he goes. Because if they disrespect Rick, and his head ends up on a spike, or Negan kills him Glenn-style, you will have a full on revolt.  So maybe it’s time for the show to think about winding down.  The Walking Dead is still the Number One cable show.  And there’s definitely something to be said about ending on top. – Though last I heard, they have plans to continue, one way or another, for the next ten years.  Good luck with that.