'The Walking Dead' Ratings Continue to Slip

Regardless of how great The Walking Dead has been in Season 9 so far, the ratings are not reflective of the show's overall quality. Another week is in the books, and another slip to series low ratings for AMC's top drama.

Per Deadline, The Walking Dead's live + same day ratings score amongst the coveted 18-49 demographic came in at a measly 1.94. This marks the lowest demo score for the entire series, despite the overall audience spiking two percent to 5 million live viewers.

Not only did the ratings fall from last week's episode, but they were down a sharp 50 percent from the third episode of Season 8 in 2017. However, the show did see jumps of 49 and 60 percent in the Live+3 ratings, and the episode was again available early on the no-ad AMC Premiere service. So, while the ratings are down significantly, it looks as though audiences are finding other ways to watch the new episodes.

The Walking Dead is clearly using the pending exit of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes as a way to boost viewership in the coming weeks. After Sunday night's "Warning Signs," advertising began teasing that Lincoln's final episode would be coming in just two weeks.

Lincoln's exit had been rumored for months before it was made official during The Walking Dead's Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Lincoln said that, after that panel, he finally felt the weight of his departure.

"The strange thing about being here was the fact that I think it really hit me yesterday because of the relationship that the show has with the fans here," Lincoln said. "As soon as it finished, the panel, I walked off the stage, it was more profound -- my sadness -- the actually wrapping up on the show. The show, I was so proud of the where the story was going and where the season was going. It's a brilliant launching pad I think, the episode that I leave, into the rest of this incredible season. All of that was more than just 'Oh, I'm pleased that I've completed it.' This was, 'Oh, f---.' I'm leaving."

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The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.