'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Delivers Lowest Rated Finale in Series History

If you ask fans of The Walking Dead, most of them will tell you that the recently-finished ninth season is one of the best in the show's history. New showrunner Angela Kang has put a much bigger focus on character development and story, and less on general shock factor. It's been a wonderful return to form and the majority of fans have appreciated each and every episode. However, despite it's overall spike in quality, The Walking Dead continues to struggle in the ratings. In fact, this Sunday's Season 9 finale delivered the lowest ratings of any season-ender thus far.

According to a new report from Variety, The Walking Dead's finale on Sunday had a total of five million viewers tune-in live, earning just a 1.9 rating in the coveted 18-49 year old demographic. That's down 44 percent in the ratings from last season's finale, as well as 37 percent in the overall audience. While these numbers are troubling for a series that, just three years ago, saw 18 million people tune in for its finale, it's not all bad news.

The Walking Dead has actually grown in the ratings over the past couple of weeks, and the Season 9 finale was up 20 percent from its penultimate episode, which delivered on the classic "pikes" scene from the comics. Also, despite the lower live numbers for The Walking Dead throughout the season, the show has seen big gains in its Live+3 audiences.

The Live+3 numbers, which factor in the folks who watch on-demand or on a streaming service in the three days following the episode, have been the best in series history this season, with 52 percent gains in the demographic and 47 percent gains in overall viewership. The Walking Dead also remains one of the highest-rated scripted shows on TV, even with the skid in overall numbers this year.

AMC knows what it has in The Walking Dead, and has already renewed the series for a 10th season, which will arrive sometime in the fall.

What did you think of The Walking Dead's Season 9 finale? Will the show find a way to save the ratings next time around? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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