The Walking Dead: Major character deaths increase ratings

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Fans always say they’d quit watching The Walking Dead if certain characters die, but death just seems to increase viewership on AMC’s zombie survival drama.

There have been some heartbreaking moments in The Walking Dead‘s past where a character’s death has made fans extremely sad or even vow never to watch the show ever again. However, when looking at the numbers, fans seem to flock to the show after a major character is killed off.

Thanks to an article on the Forbes website, we now know that after the one of the core members of show’s group is killed off, the ratings soar. Several of these occasions might be timing. For example, when a character dies in a season finale or one episode before a premiere, it should be assumed that ratings will increase for the higher profile finales or premieres.

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Still, it is an odd trend that killing off people brings in viewers. With fans getting so attached to many of the characters, you’d think people might need some time away from the The Walking Dead following the death of a character that they love to compose themselves, but that hasn’t been the case, as Forbes has created a graph to show the strange phenomenon.

There is one exception to this rule. Following the death of Tyreese in season 5, ratings took a major dive, with 3.38 million fewer viewers turning in after his exit from the show. While Tyreese wasn’t a fan favorite on the same level as one of the other major deaths in the past, it seems to have struck a nerve with some viewers, who didn’t return to watch the show.

Seeing this information should make fans wonder which characters on the show could add to the exception to the rule. Would ratings drop if a character like Rick Grimes or Michonne were to be killed off? What about Daryl Dixon? Or any of the other survivors? And are there any characters who would have a bigger increase than Andrea, Hershel, or The Governor, all of which tied for the biggest increase in ratings after their death.

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The Walking Dead returns to AMC on February 14, 2016 for the season 6 midseason premiere, where death might be waiting around the corner for some more survivors. Hopefully, fans will keep watching no matter who dies in upcoming episodes, but it will be interesting to watch and see what kind of impact any other deaths will have in the future of the zombie survival drama.