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Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Live Ratings Hit All-Time Low

Despite kicking off Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) heavily hyped final season, The Walking Dead’s season 9 premiere ratings fell to an all-time low. While AMC’s long-running zombie apocalypse drama ended season 8 by once again claiming the overall ratings crown among the advertiser-coveted 18-49-year-old demographic, it did so by much closer of a margin than it’s managed in the past. That’s because over the last two seasons, The Walking Dead has seen its ratings average absolutely plummet.

Last year’s season 8 ended up averaging a 3.4 in the 18-49 demo, and about 7.8 million total viewers per episode. That amounted to an over 30 percent drop in the total viewer and demo averages posted by season 7. On that subject, season 7 averaged a 5.4 in the 18-49 demo and drew about 11.3 million viewers, itself a considerable drop from season 6’s 6.5 demo average and 13 million total viewer average per episode. While it’s fair to say that scripted TV as a whole has seen huge dips in live viewership in the last several years, the size of Walking Dead’s falls have been much bigger than most, if only because it had farther to fall.

Related: Maggie Was RIGHT In The Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere

Going into season 9, positive advance reviews and an above average amount of hype surrounding the impending departures of stars Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan looked poised to possibly right the ratings ship for Walking Dead. Sadly, that doesn’t look like it’ll be the case. As reported by TV By The Numbers, season 9’s premiere – entitled “A New Beginning” – earned only a 2.5 in the 18-49 demo, and drew in a total audience of just over 6 million live viewers. That’s down a whopping 50 percent from the 5.0 demo rating posted by season 8’s premiere, and over 30 percent from its total audience.

To put things fully in perspective, that 2.5 is The Walking Dead’s lowest premiere rating ever, even below the 2.7 earned by the series’ October 2010 debut. Sunday’s total viewer count was slightly higher than Walking Dead’s series premiere at least, which was watched live by 5.4 million viewers. Whichever way you look at it though, these numbers aren’t a good omen for season 9’s ratings prospects.

However, there’s one other factor worth considering, first pointed out earlier today by Comic Book. Last year, AMC launched a premium streaming service called AMC Premiere, which lets subscribers watch episodes ad-free, and in some cases, early. It’s only available to those who subscribe to a TV package containing AMC, but still, season 9’s premiere was made available 24 hours in advance to AMC Premiere users. Figures on how many people used that service to view the episode early aren’t available, but it definitely could’ve cut into the live viewership count. With that in mind, the real test of season 9’s ratings may be next week, although it’s worth noting that numbers rarely go up after a show’s season premiere.

More: Walking Dead Showrunner Explains Negan’s Absence From Season 9 Premiere

The Walking Dead season 9 airs Sundays on AMC.

Source: TV By The Numbers, Comic Book



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2018-10-09 03:10:07 – Michael Kennedy

The Walking Dead: Biggest Questions Left By The Season 9 Premiere

Warning! SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 9 premiere ahead!

Tonight’s season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead introduces viewers to a new era of the long-running zombie show. “A New Beginning” is a strong season opener, and it suggests that season 9 might just be the overhaul this former ratings juggernaut so desperately needs to recapture its dwindling audience.

There other big changes in store for The Walking Dead this season as well. Both Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohen are leaving, though how remains a mystery, and their absences will leave large holes for the ensemble to fill. Then there are also the discussions of AMC creating a shared universe of Walking Dead programs, which could see more of the cast leave for their own spinoffs.

Related: Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Review: A New Era Begins Now

“A New Beginning” doesn’t address any of these upcoming changes, but it sets up several interesting threads for the show to explore this season. And to that, we have a few questions after watching The Walking Dead season 9 premiere.

  • This Page: A Fragile Peace and a Decent Proposal
  • Page 2: Is A Civil War On The Way?

Can Rick Keep the Peace?

A big part of the season 9 premiere is establishing the new status quo. It’s been roughly two years since the war with the Saviors and there is now peace among the different communities. Together, they’re actively working to re-establish some semblance of civilization. There is trade and agriculture and manufacturing taking place and, soon, literal bridge-building between the communities to keep them united. If the hope was to create that world Carl dreamed of, then Rick is leading them in the right direction.

But, while there is peace, it is an uneasy peace. At the Sanctuary, the lack of food and supplies is causing tempers to flare. There’s even “We Are Negan” graffiti on the walls, highlighting a growing dissatisfaction. At Hilltop, many are angry that they must keeping sharing so much of their harvest with the Saviors, seeing the situation as not all that different from before. And all the communities still hold an understandable grudge against the Saviors, even after the all time that’s passed.

Rick may have been able to unite the people of Alexandria, Hilltop, Kingdom, Oceanside, and Sanctuary, but it’s becoming more difficult to hold them together. Will Rick be able to keep the peace he fought so hard to achieve? It’s hard to say, and perhaps the better question to be asking at this point is – will there still be peace between the communities when Rick is gone?

Will Carol Accept Ezekiel’s Proposal?

Season 9 quickly establishes a lighter, more uplifting mood with those opening moments of Rick, Michonne, and Judith getting to be just a normal, happy family. There are actually a few of these moments throughout the episode, like Gabriel and Anne both appreciating the humor in the “de-evolution of man” or Rick fawning over baby Hershel. But there is perhaps none more sweet and funny than Ezekiel proposing to Carol. Their relationship isn’t one we really got to see develop because of the time jump, but it’s clear there are quite the established couple by this point.

Related: Walking Dead Season 9 Is ‘Driven By Women’

Carol, of course, is completely against the proposal, listing her reasons for why this isn’t the time nor the place – “This is not happening on a horse” – and it’s cute to see the usually calm and collected Carol so flustered. Ezekiel, on the other hand, isn’t deterred, and though it may be his recent brush with death that spurs him in to popping the question, the fact that he wishes to make such a public declaration of their love is sign of how much the times have changed.

So when Ezekiel asks again as he most-certainly will, does Carol accept? If she truly cares for him as much as that kiss at the museum suggests, she likely will. But her choice to stick around at the Sanctuary and relieve Daryl of his leadership duties, while a means of helping out a friend, might imply otherwise.

Page 2: Is A Civil War On The Way?

Could Maggie And Daryl Turn On Rick?

Maggie and Daryl may have helped Rick win the war, but season 9 begins with them both calling his decision-making into question. Daryl, for instance, doubts Rick’s plan to unite this many groups of people, sharing his preference for when it was just their small group. And as for Maggie, she’s still angry over Rick’s decision to keep Negan alive, reminding Rick that he promised her he’d kill him.

Maggie even calls out Rick for once telling her that one day he’d be following her, but then never allowing that day to come. And it’s this scene between them on the balcony that really hints at a divide growing between Maggie and Rick. Daryl’s comments that he’d rather move to Hilltop instead of Alexandria seem to suggest that if made to choose, he’d pick Maggie over Rick, which really makes it appear like a split between them is inevitable.

Related: Norman Reedus Doesn’t Think Daryl Is The New Rick

Will season 9 see Maggie and Daryl turn against Rick? It’s certainly a possibility, what with both parties having very different views on how things should be run. Plus, there’s also the matter of Maggie and Rick only appearing in a limited number of episodes this season. Could it be the conflict between them that leads to their exits? That seems very likely, with the rift that forms between Maggie and Rick not necessarily being the direct cause of their departures but at the very least a factor.

What Will Be The Consequences of Hanging Gregory?

The Walking Dead season 9 premiere ends with Gregory’s hanging and it’s a disturbing scene for what is a fairly upbeat episode (by Walking Dead standards anyway). Not that anyone is likely to miss Gregory, and his manipulation of Earl and Tammy’s grief (not too mention Earl’s alcoholism) is particularly disgusting, but the public execution is still chilling. And when Maggie declares that the “punishment must fit the crime” she’s drawing a direct comparison between what she’s doing here and what Rick chose to do with Negan.

Maggie having Gregory hanged is going to have consequences. Already, it’s apparent how much Rick and Michonne don’t agree with Maggie’s decision, only deepening that divide. Then there’s the precedent this decisions sets – implying it’s okay to kill someone as long as it’s justified. Who decides when it’s justified? Well, that’s why Michonne needs to write that charter. But in the mean time, there’s a very good chance someone else will look to this as permission to take justice into their own hands.

Whether or not Maggie was justified in killing Gregory is debatable, but the deed is now done and there’s no taking it back. Future episodes will show just how Hilltop and the rest of the communities react to the news, but one thing is clear – Maggie isn’t playing around, and if given the opportunity, she will do what Rick could not and kill Negan.

Next: The Walking Dead Will Reboot (Sort Of) When Rick Leaves the Show

The Walking Dead season 9 continues next Sunday with ‘The Bridge’ at 9pm/8c on AMC.



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2018-10-07 07:10:59 – Sarah Moran

Walking Dead: Chris Hardwick, Chandler Riggs, & More Remember Scott Wilson

Less than a day after news broke that Scott Wilson had passed away, several cast and crew members from AMC’s The Walking Dead TV show – old, current, and new – are paying tribute to the late actor on social media. Prior to The Walking Dead season 9 premiere this weekend, the network brought several cast members (including Andrew Lincoln) and franchise producers, as well as new showrunner Angela Kang, to New York Comic Con 2018 to promote the upcoming new season.

It was during the series’ panel at The Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden that Kang announced Wilson and Sonequa Martin-Green would be reprising their roles as Hershel Greene and Sasha Williams, respectively, in season 9. While the details regarding their return were kept under wraps, the news itself was met with applause. Sadly, it was only a few hours later that word got out of Wilson’s passing. (According to his representative, he passed away from complications with leukemia.) And now, several people that knew him on the acclaimed series are paying their respects.

Related: Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln Teases That Rick Grimes Might Not Survive

In the time since Wilson’s passing yesterday, cast and crew members such as Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes), Tom Payne (Jesus), and more, including Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick, have issued statements about the Wilson’s death online. Below is a small collection of those tributes, beginning with Hardwick’s:

Even though Wilson’s character was killed off way back in season 4, his legacy continues to live on, something that audiences will see throughout season 9. Furthermore, while the news regarding Wilson’s season 9 return only recently broke during New York Comic Con weekend, Wilson had reportedly already filmed his scenes for the production, thus meaning that he will still appear in the show, unless, of course, the producers decide to cut his scenes out. But that’s something that fans will just have to wait and see what happens.

At the moment, it’s unclear when Wilson will make his return, posthumously of course, in The Walking Dead season 9, but it’s safe to assume that it would be sometime in the first half of the season. The cast and crew are still in the midst of filming the season’s second half, and since Wilson’s Hershel was Maggie’s father, it makes sense that he would reappear in one of the episodes Lauren Cohan is in. After all, Cohan is slated to exit the series during the first half of season 9, though there is always the possibility that she could return in a future season.

Next: Walking Dead Gets New Opening Credits Sequence For Season 9

The Walking Dead premieres on October 7 on AMC.

Source: Various (see links)



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2018-10-07 02:10:06 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Walking Dead Showrunner Wants Lauren Cohan to Return in Season 10

The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang hopes Lauren Cohan will return for season 10 to complete Maggie’s story. After landing a role in ABC’s new series Whiskey Cavalier, longtime TWD regular Cohan will only appear in a handful of episodes during the zombie drama’s upcoming 9th season. However, Cohan herself has already confirmed that Maggie won’t die, leaving the door open for a return somewhere down the road.

As Walking Dead season 9 begins, the story is expected to center largely on the conflict between Maggie and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that still lingers after Rick’s decision to imprison Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) rather than kill him. In general, the season will revolve around the show’s many female characters, including Michonne (Danai Gurira) who finds herself in more of a leadership position, and Carol (Melissa McBride), as she begins a romance with Ezekiel (Khary Payton). The season will also introduce potentially the most evil female character ever on the show, Whisperers leader Alpha, played by Samantha Morton.

Related: Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Review: A New Era Begins Now

Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang has previously teased that much of the first half of season 9 will focus on Maggie, and the strong story writers have crafted for the character ahead of Cohan’s departure. In a new interview with Comic Book, Kang talked more about Maggie’s arc and expressed her hope that Cohan will return in season 10 to wrap up the story. Kang said:

“I’ll say first of all that we’ve still planned some more story with Maggie, Lauren wants to, it will be a little subject to her schedule but hopefully we have her back next season,. We have always planned to have this great story with Maggie this season and I think we promised something. We wanted to pay off that promise. We definitely have a very strong Maggie arc.”

Kang also teased that certain other characters will have to step into a leadership role at the Hilltop after Maggie’s departure. Season 9 is expected to generally revolve more around character than action, now that the show has wrapped up the “All Out War” arc that dominated season 8. There will also be a time jump that carries the story into a period where the remaining vestiges of civilization have begun failing, forcing the survivors to find new ways to sustain themselves.

Of course, looming over the season is the imminent departure of Rick Grimes, as lead actor Andrew Lincoln prepares to exit the show. It seems as though the tension between Rick and Maggie will be a dominant thread at least early in the season, and it will be interesting to see how that situation ultimately resolves itself. Maggie certainly has reason to be angry with Rick after he let Negan live, and may ultimately have to take matters into her own hands and dispatch the man who murdered her husband Glenn. With season 9 jumping ahead in time, Maggie will also have her and Glenn’s baby to take care of.

The big question is how The Walking Dead deals with Maggie’s departure, and what happens with the character down the road. With AMC reportedly planning multiple movies and spinoffs, there should be plenty of options for bringing Maggie back into the fold if that’s indeed the plan. And it’s also worth noting that though Lincoln is exiting the series, it’s not yet known if Rick will actually die. What’s known is that Lincoln does indeed want to return for season 10, albeit as a director.

More: Walking Dead Season 9: Every Update You Need To Know

Source: Comic Book



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2018-09-25 04:09:40 – Dan Zinski