Though the quality of Fear the Walking Dead continues to improve, the numbers in the ratings have not.
The sibling series to the largest show on cable, The Walking Dead (which also saw a significant slide in ratings in its most recent season) has hit a series low with 2.14 million viewers with its most recent La Serpiente episode. It is a number down from 2.4 million viewers a week before.
When Fear the Walking Dead premiere in 2015, it came with a monster audience of over 10 million people. This was the same time The Walking Dead hits its highest numbers, with 17.3 million viewers tuning in for its Season 5 premiere. Season 5 of The Walking Dead maintained the highest overall viewership by comparison to any other. Since, the series' ratings have dipped to just over 10 million viewers on a down week.
Neither series should fear cancellation, however. Fear the Walking Dead has wrapped production on its third season and is set to air its Season 3 finale on Sunday night but was renewed for a fourth installment ahead of the Season 3 premiere. The Walking Dead, now hitting at least five times the audience of Fear's latest episode, is rolling into its 100th overall episode and its showrunner Scott Gimple has repeatedly stated he has his mind set on 100 more.
With the ratings come similar expenses for each show. The Walking Dead's cast is bigger than ever, filming in more locations than ever, and using more visual effects than ever. It's not a cheap show to produce but the high numbers support such expenses -- plus, with All Out War on the horizon, the cast will be slimming down. Fear the Walking Dead, on the other hand, has a much smaller cast with considerably fewer locations. Having built its Broke Jaw Ranch set for Season 3, the show will likely stay put and save money in the future, just as The Walking Dead will continue to re-use its Hilltop and Alexandria communities for years.
Fear's ratings slide may be a symptom of the show's lack of marketing or cast exposure. Much of the summer has been spent promoting The Walking Dead's 100th season with Fear appearing to be overlooked in the mean time. In some cases, fans were unaware of the show's midseason 3 return, and had it not followed a The Walking Dead Season 8 preview special, many would have remained in the dark.
With Fear the Walking Dead continuing to improve in quality, the series may see a Game of Thrones effect going forward, where word of mouth helps increase viewership year over year.
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season Eight premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.
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