Shocking The Walking Dead Sex Scene Raises Ratings

The Walking Dead returned from its midseason hiatus on Sunday. It’s midseason premiere episode, “Squeeze,” included an unusual sex scene. The buzz around that scene seems to have attracted a larger than usual crowd for the show. The AMC series’ ratings have been on the decline over the past few seasons, but Sunday’s episode saw a nine percent rating spike. A total of 3.5 million viewers watched the episode compared to the 3.21 million that watched the show’s midseason finale. That includes a 15 percent rise in viewers in the 25-54 age demographic (2 million total) and a 17 percent rise in viewers in the 18-49 demographic (1.6 million).

The sex scene in question was between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the former leader of the Saviors, and Alpha (Samantha Morton), the deranged leader of the Whisperers. Alpha had Negan stripped naked and then met him in the woods wearing nothing but her mask made out of zombie flesh. Fans were pretty grossed out by the sex scene, but Hilarie Burton Morgan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan's wife, had a strong and surprising reaction to the scene.

"Watched @thewalkingdead after the kids fell asleep last night. This scene!!! Ol’ daddy has a way of looking at a gal, and it is CUTE," she wrote on Instagram. "Only YOU could have made that situation kinda hot, @jeffreydeanmorgan ! Hahahaha. Prepping my own zombie flesh mask now." Fittingly, she ended the post with a hashtag: "#neganswife."

In a recent interview, The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang explained what inspired the surprising sex scene came from. She pointed back to The Walking Dead comics.

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"We always felt like we needed some of the story of Alpha, Negan and their strange relationship," she said. "And he was like, 'Okay! Not quite sure how to get there! Let me work on it!'" Kang recalls. "He came back with this whole storyline where Negan thinks he's about to be killed, but it turns out to be this other thing that sits within Alpha's animalistic philosophy. It's the way she sees exactly who Negan is. She's not wrong about him being a crass man. Negan being Negan thinks, 'Well, it's an opportunity for me!' It came together in this organic and fun way where the writer had a great take on the relationship from the comic book. We had a fun time coming up with a way to show this to our audience in a way that's safe for basic cable but also still surprising."

What did you think of The Walking Dead’s strange sex scene? Let us know in the comments. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET AMC.