Ever since it first premiere in 2010, The Walking Dead has been one of AMC's ratings juggernaut thanks to its brilliant actors, compelling plot, character development, and storytelling. However, the ratings for this season have been taking a dip in viewership numbers for the zombie-themed series falling a bit slightly.
Its season premiere was seen by a little over 17 million viewers that almost broke viewing records for a television series, but subsequent episodes since then experienced a slow decline in viewership. The fans' reaction to season 7's first episode was extremely polarized, with some praising the 90-minute season opener to be an emotionally gripping work of art, while others thought that Negan's sadistic antics had gone overboard and vowed to no longer watch the show.
While such proclamation from fans didn't really affect the show that much, Comicbook reports that the drop in the number of viewers from episode 1 to episode 2 has been significant, with the second episode "only" managing to attract approximately 12.5 million viewers. Such a drop in viewership is somewhat expected given all of the hype surrounding Rick and his gang after last season's cliffhanger ending.
Then, the third episode's number dropped even lower to 11.7 million, so did the fourth with 11.5 million whilst the fifth with 11 million. The consistent drop from episode 2 to 5 might seem modest, but it still marks a low point for the show. In fact, it is the lowest audience number they've had since 2012.
To be fair, The Walking Dead Season 7 is still drawing in some pretty strong numbers, but fans of the series generally seem to agree that this season has not been up to par with their previous efforts. The show has also been notorious for becoming draggy during the mid-season before the pace finally picks up heading towards its last few episodes.
Viewership numbers might be pretty low right now for the show's standards, it is probably just a temporary slump as fans are still expected to get back on board once season 7 starts picking up the pace later on.