Walking Dead Finale Draws Show’s Largest Viewership in Nearly Two Years


The series finale of The Walking Dead drew in the show’s largest viewership in two years. The Walking Dead, AMC’s post-apocalyptic zombie horror series, first premiered back in 2010, and since its debut season, the show gained immense popularity, running for 11 seasons by the time the series ended on November 20. At the start, The Walking Dead attracted between 4-6 million viewers, with viewership only increasing into season 2, but the series hit its peak during season 5 in 2014, when the season premiere amassed 17.3 million viewers as audiences tuned in to see how Rick and his people would escape Terminus, making it the most-watched series episode in cable television history. After season 5, viewership would steadily decline, with a sharp drop between the season 7 premiere (17.03 million viewers) and the season 8 premiere (11.4 million viewers). By the time The Walking Dead‘s final season was released, the first episode only garnered 2.22 million viewers.


Though the series’ viewership has been declining sharply in recent years, The Walking Dead‘s finale episode saw a massive bump in ratings. The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that The Walking Dead‘s series finale, “Rest in Peace,” drew in 2.27 million viewers on its release day, making it the most-watched episode for the show since February 2021. The series finale also narrowly misses the title of least-watched season finale for the show, which remains season 10 at 2.12 million viewers.

Related: The Walking Dead Series Finale Reveals Why Daryl Dixon Goes To France

What Does TWD’s Finale Viewership Mean for Its Spinoffs?

Rick from The Walking Dead wearing a CRM jacket, standing by the water and looking behind him in the air.

The last time The Walking Dead saw ratings as high as the finale was in February 2021 with the release of the season 10 episode “Home Sweet Home,” which was watched by 2.89 million viewers. Though Walking Dead is now a massive franchise with a very dedicated fanbase, these numbers are far from the show’s best. Viewership numbers show that many longtime fans left the series between The Walking Dead seasons 6 and 8, and that only a relatively small number consistently watched the series from start to finish – however, the series finale drew in fans who had long since stopped regularly watching The Walking Dead, making for a relatively successful ending to the long-running show.

While The Walking Dead has come to an end, that doesn’t mean that the franchise is through with fan-favorite characters. Earlier this year, three upcoming spinoff shows were announced with Daryl Dixon, which follows Daryl as he travels through France, Dead City, which sees Maggie and Negan in New York City, and Rick and Michonne, which will fill in where Rick and Michonne have been since departing The Walking Dead. Though old fans of the series all have their own reasons for no longer watching it, be it Glenn’s season 7 death, or Carl’s in season 8, many attribute moving away from the series to Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) leaving the show. Lincoln, who had led The Walking Dead since the very first episode, exited the show in season 9, leaving Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) to star instead. This change sat poorly with a lot of fans, leaving many to stop watching the series.

However, with Rick finally making an appearance in The Walking Dead series finale to set up Rick and Michonne, the uptick in viewership could spell success for its spinoffs. As many ex-fans tuned in to see how the series would end, there was clearly a renewed interest in The Walking Dead, no matter how small. And with Rick and Michonne both proving that there is so much more to their story than fans know, The Walking Dead‘s finale viewership could mean great things for the ever-expanding TWD universe.

Next: What Daryl’s “Walking Dead” Line Means & Why He Disagrees With Rick GrimesSource: THR


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