The Walking Dead saw a considerable slide in ratings over the course of its seventh season. The man in charge of the network, however, is none too worried about it.
The series underwent some major changes in its seventh year. Veterans Michael Cudlitz, Steven Yeun (who had been with the show since its earliest season) and Sonequa Martin-Green bowed out while Steven Ogg, Katelyn Nacon, and Pollyanna McIntosh earned upgraded roles on the show now dominated by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and his portrayal of Negan.
AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan is quick to acknowledge the importance of The Walking Dead at the network but promises the numbers are bringing the show or its home down any time soon.
"It's pretty alive and vital and there's a long time that we're going to be playing with The Walking Dead," Sapan said, dubbing the 5 million viewer slide as "some minor erosion."
He argued the reasoning of the slide, citing reasons other than the departure of beloved characters and cast members. "We're seeing an offset of subscriber decline through Internet TV subscription, I think it's likely to accelerate ... as prices adjust, as packages adjust, as offerings are customized and so-called disrupters enter the market and offer varieties of packages that may take hold," Sapan said.
"We have a great bias to own our own content. If we don't own it, if we lease and rent from Sony (as with Better Call Saul), it makes it tougher for us to have success," Sapan said. This might be part of the reason why Fear the Walking Dead is so quick to earn a fourth season ahead of its third and The Walking Dead might just go on forever.
At one point in Season 7, The Walking Dead had dropped to the lowest ratings since the show's third season.
After a drastic drop in the first couple of weeks, including over four million viewers leaving from Episode 7x01 to 7x02, it seems like the show has found its stride and how many loyal viewers it has. Here's out the ratings looked throughout all 16 episodes:
- 7x01: 17.03 million
- 7x02: 12.46 million
- 7x03: 11.72 million
- 7x04: 11.40 million
- 7x05: 11.00 million
- 7x06: 10.40 million
- 7x07: 10.48 million
- 7x08: 10.58 million
- 7x09: 12 million
- 7x10: 11.08 million
- 7x11: 10.42 million
- 7x12: 10.16 million
- 7x13: 10.68 million
- 7x14: 10.32 million
- 7x15: 10.54 million
- 7x16: 11.3 million
With Season 8 promising to be a more action-packed, optimistic effort than its predecessor which drove fans away with violence, humbled and scattered characters, and a slower pace than usual, the ratings might just see the upward bump they need starting with October's Episode 100.
MORE WALKING DEAD: Negan's Backstory Reveals Completely Different Character / TWD Star Quits Social Media After Death Threats / TWD Showrunner Joins FTWD / TWD F-Take Clips With Rick And Daryl / Major Criticism Fixed For Season 8 / TWD Casting Two New Characters
The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October of 2017. The first trailer is expected to arrive at San Diego Comic Con in July. For complete coverage and insider info all off-season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.