'The Walking Dead' Ratings Drop, Remain On Top

Once again, the ratings for The Walking Dead have moved in the wrong direction, but the show remains on top for Sunday night.

Episode 8x03, Monsters, nabbed 8.519 million viewers on Sunday night, with a 3.8 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. It's a slight drop from Episode 8x02, which hauled in 8.923 million viewers and a 4.0 rating. It's the second consecutive drop, though it may be leveling out for the AMC series, after its 100th episode (the Season 8 premiere) held 11.4 million viewers.

The lesser drop is likely fueled by the cliffhanger ending of Episode 8x02, with longtime fans of the show being treated to the shocking return of Juan Pareja's Morales character. After missing in action for 96 episodes, the character reappeared to hold Rick Grimes at gunpoint. His return, however, was short-lived as the character was quickly killed off in Episode 8x03. Putting King Ezekiel and Carol in danger to end the episode might help maintain the carryover in audience for Episode 8x04, even if the headlines circulating in the mean time aren't as exciting.

Here is a clear layout of the ratings throughout Season 8 of The Walking Dead:

  • Episode 8x01 (Mercy): 11.4 million
  • Episode 8x02 (The Damned): 8.923 million
  • Episode 8x03 (Monsters): 8.519 million

Through two episodes, however, The Walking Dead has seen significant gains in its Live+3 numbers. Episode 8x01 saw a 36% gain in its numbers with post-broadcast viewings.

Behind the new episode of The Walking Dead on Sunday night's ratings chart is Talking Dead. The recap show hosted by Chris Hardwick earned 3.119 million viewers for a 1.3 rating as star-power fueled by Norman Reedus helped make the show Sunday's second highest-rated.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.

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(via TV by the Numbers)