The Walking Dead is husk of what it once was, shambling along and going through the motions of survival, and its ratings have reflected that by dropping significantly from where they were in the show’s glory days. As reported by Variety, The Walking Dead still performed relatively strong throughout its eighth season, but it ended up having the lowest-rated finale since the first season. It was the highest-rated show of the night, beating out ABC News’ interview with James Comey, but that’s still not saying much when the numbers are only half as good as they were at the show’s peak in 2015.
If things seem grim for the show, though, outgoing showrunner Scott Gimple wants everyone to know that The Walking Dead will “evolve” in its ninth season under new showrunner Angela Kang. Speaking with Vulture, he teased that the show will “break some new ground” and “tackle very, very different issues, problems, and conflicts” than in every other season, and by the time that’s all in place it will be “a very, very different show.” Gimple’s implication there is clear: If you gave up on the show, maybe come back next year and see if you like it better.
That probably won’t be enough to get 15 million people to watch again, but at least it should have no problem continuing to beat big-name interviews.