‘The Walking Dead’ Season Premiere Ratings Hits a 5-Year Low

AMC’s The Walking Dead premiered on Sunday night and the show has hit a 5-year season premiere low point.

The Walking Dead hit a high point in ratings with 13.3 million average viewers by Season 5. That number continued to skyrocket to 18.8 by Season 6. However, the Season 8 premiere saw a dramatic low point that has not been seen since Season 3.

The Walking Dead
NEW YORK-OCT 9: (L-R) Actors Andrew Lincoln and Chandler Riggs attend AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ season six premiere at Madison Square Garden on October 9, 2015 in New York City. (Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com)

According to Nielsen rating numbers reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the first episode of Season 8 of The Walking Dead had 11.4 million viewers, 6.5 million of them adults 18-49, which translates to a 5.0 rating in the key demo. When you compare those numbers to a year ago, that is a drop of 43% of total viewers.

The show did gain more viewers in the live-plus-three numbers with a total of 16.4 million viewers. That is a second consecutive season of downward ratings after the show had once skyrocketed to 20.1 million viewers by 2014.

Walking Dead Racist T-Shirt
LOS ANGELES – OCT 23: Norman Reedus and Jeffrey Dean Morgan arrives to the Special taping of “The Talking Dead” w/ cast of “The Walking Dead” on October 23, 2016 in Hollywood, CA (DFree / Shutterstock.com)

That said, The Walking Dead is still the highest-rated scripted series on television. Meanwhile, The Talking Dead premiered and had 4.2 million viewers after the debut of The Walking Dead season 8 premiere.

This news comes after actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan was bashed after wearing a “Blue Lives Matter” T-shirtA photo of The Walking Dead actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan wearing a “Blue Lives Matter” T-shirt has gone viral on social media, pissing off fans of the show.

In the photo, Morgan, who is best known for playing the villain Negan on the zombie drama, John Winchester on Supernatural, and Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy, poses with a fan wearing a shirt supporting Blue Lives Matter.

Walking Dead
NEW YORK-OCT 9: (L-R) Actors Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs and Steven Yeun attend AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ season six premiere at Madison Square Garden on October 9, 2015 in New York City. (Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com)

Morgan’s decision to support Blue Lives Matter pissed off many Walking Dead fans. One twitter user wrote, “i have been betrayed quite a few times in my life, but jeffrey dean morgan wearing a blue lives matter shirt today might top the list.” Another user argued, “oh great so now i gotta cancel jeffrey dean morgan and every other cast member of twd who liked his last instagram post.”

It is not clear whether that had an impact on the ratings but, it is arguable that it didn’t help.