"The Walking Dead" season-eight premiere charts lowest ratings in five years

AMC/Gene Page(NEW YORK) — The Walking Dead‘s season-eight premiere, the show’s 100th episode, didn’t exactly slay compared to its other first-of-season installments. 

Sunday night’s show attracted the lowest premiere ratings — 11.4 million total viewers — since the series’ third season. Last season’s premiere drew 17.03 million viewers, according to Nielsen numbers posted by Variety

However, unlike the first episode of season eight, season seven began by answering a major cliffhanger — which fan-favorite characters did Negan kill in the closing moments of season six? This year’s premiere had no such cliffhanger attached.  

The peak audience remains the season-five premiere, which drew 17.29 million viewers. Only the show’s first two season premieres drew smaller audiences than Sunday’s premiere. 

Even so, Variety notes that the AMC series is still the number-one show on television with viewers in the key 18-34 demographic, outpacing even ratings juggernauts like This Is Us and The Big Bang Theory with viewers in that demo, even though the latter two shows beat The Walking Dead in total audience numbers.

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