Critics refuse to accept that The Walking Dead ratings are fine

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Austin Nichols as Spencer Monroe; group - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Austin Nichols as Spencer Monroe; group - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead finishes the year at the top of the ratings again but critics just can’t accept that the show is still the most popular show on cable TV.

It’s no secret that the live views for The Walking Dead were down this season. Live views of the show for the first half of Season 7 averaged were about 11 million per episode. Critics have jumped on that figure and proclaimed the show is dying in the ratings.

Even though Live+3 and Live+7 views show a consistent increase in views by about 4-5 million per episode some people who dislike the show still try to make the case that the show is failing. It isn’t.

When AMC released a statement showing that The Walking Dead was averaging 16 million views per episode and was still the number one show on cable TV critics again dismissed the numbers as the network trying to puff up the show.

But AMC isn’t the only outlet claiming the show’s numbers are still higher than any other show on cable TV. Variety said it. Now TV By The Numbers is saying it. No matter how much certain critics want to paint season 7 as a failure it just isn’t.

The Walking Dead  Ratings On Par With Broadcast TV

Cable TV shows traditionally have lower ratings across the board than broadcast TV shows. Broadcast shows on major networks like CBS and NBC tend to have higher ratings because they reach a much bigger audience. Many people don’t have cable these days. But broadcast shows are available on any TV with an antenna. No cable or digital service is required to see those shows.

The Walking Dead finished the year as the third highest rated show on all of television, including broadcast channels. It finished third behind The Big Bang Theory and stalwart crime drama NCIS. It beat out popular shows like This Is Us and Dancing With The Stars.

So for 2016, AMC’s flagship zombie survival drama program was the number one show on cable TV and the third highest rated show overall. Still, some critics are trying desperately to paint season 7A as a failure.

Why Do Critics Dislike This Season So Much?

The criticism of The Walking Dead actually started with the cliffhanger at the end of Season 6. Some fans were very unhappy that they had to wait through the summer hiatus to find out who Negan killed.

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Then critics were very upset by the bloody deaths of Glenn and Abe in the season premiere. It was rough for fans, who are emotionally invested in these characters, to see characters they love brutalized. But it certainly wasn’t a surprise to anyone who has watched the show before that the world of The Walking Dead is violent. And sometimes pretty gory.

The Walking Dead Season 7A had a very different emotional tone than past seasons have had. The story is changing. The threat is changing from walkers to people. And transitional periods can be tough. Some critics felt betrayed by the first half of the season. But some growing pains don’t mean failure for the show.

Next: The Walking Dead end of year ratings

Heading into The Walking Dead Season 7B there is a growing sense of hope and optimism as Rick and the group band together to rise up and fight Negan and the Saviors. Sorry critics, but The Walking Dead Season 7 isn’t a failure, and it’s just getting started.