Fans of the AMC zombie series The Walking Dead will be shocked to hear that series star Andrew Lincoln has announced that he will no be part of the horror series following the show’s upcoming ninth season. Lincoln is only expected to appear in six episodes next season. The actor has been playing Rick Grimes, an ex-cop turned leader in a post-apocalypse America, since the show’s first season in 2010. While Lincoln has not said why he wants to quit the zombie series, speculation rests on the actor wanting to spend more time with his family. The Walking Dead films in Georgia while Lincoln’s family lives in the United Kingdom. Lincoln has also stated that he feels that Rick’s story arc is coming to an end, and he wants to see the character’s journey come to completion.
Lincoln is not the only actor who has been with the show for a long time to exit the series recently. Last season, Chandler Riggs, who plays Rick’s son Carl on the show, left after his character suffered a bite from a walker. Like Lincoln, Riggs had been with the show since it began in 2010. Additionally, it was recently announced that Lauren Cohan, who has played Maggie since the show’s second season, would also only appear in six episodes of the coming season.
While fans worry that Lincoln and Cohan’s exits will lead to the show’s end, AMC plans to continue the series despite the exit of two of its biggest stars. Part of the network’s plan to keep audiences interested in the series is to offer actor Norman Reedus, who has played Daryl Dixon on the show since season one, a larger paycheck to stay with the series. Rumors are that the show’s writers hope for Reedus to assume Lincoln’s position as leading actor on the series.
The Walking Dead seems to be on a march toward ratings death. The 8th season of the series only aired two episodes and the viewership numbers don’t exactly look promising. The ratings currently reside at their lowest ranking since season 2. That is awful news because a ratings decline becomes very difficult to turn around. Once fans leave the series, they do not often return. Pulling several million departed viewers isn’t exactly something that can easily be done. Someone at The Walking Dead and AMC has to figure how to stop the ratings death spiral or else this series won’t last much longer.
The incredibly exciting World Series currently taking place may be drawing viewers away from The Walking Dead. While this might account for some lost viewership, serious examination shows the entire Negan and The Saviors storyline is flopping. The decision to make the show even more violent than usual further turned off fans. The excruciating death of fan-favorite character Glenn was too much for many in the audience to bear. They tuned out of the show and do not seem to be coming back. Maybe something can be done to draw them back in, but the Negan “All-Out War” storyline won’t do it. Ratings so far indicate antipathy towards the events.
The end of the series won’t exactly happen this season. More than eight million people turn in to watch. The Walking Dead tops its cable competition by a wide margin. The series also makes money through all sorts of additional revenue such as video games. The declining ratings show the series won’t likely have legs too far beyond the 10th season. Hopefully, once the current storyline ends, the series can reboot its direction and try and rebuild ratings.
The producers of AMC’s The Walking Dead are insisting the show’s level of violence won’t be toned down. This might prove to be the program’s undoing.
The opening episode of the seventh season of The Walking Dead was one of the most shocking debuts in television history. The shocks were not well received by millions of fans. The decline in audience viewership during the seventh season was pronounced. In fact, many were suggesting heavy loss of the audience members was catastrophic. Due to the violent deaths of the characters Glenn and Abraham, the program veered from entertainment into a harsh spectacle of horror. The Walking Dead simply went too far in its presentation of realistic death. People tuning in for a little bit of zombie mayhem were forced to watch all-too-human carnage.
There is a huge difference from fantasy violence and violence that is cruel and disturbing. The Walking Dead walked over a threshold and many fans simply could not forgive the showrunners. The millions of people who left during season seven are not likely to come back until they feel confident such violence will not be repeated. Better storytelling would also be quite helpful to the fortunes of the program. In addition to the outrageous violence, the narrative has notoriously dragged. What is worse than excessive violence? The answer is excessive boredom.
The Walking Dead is squandering its goodwill with the audience that made the show the super hit. The villainous Negan works quite well in the comic book, but the television presentation has been very singular in note. When Negan is not turning off the audience with brutal violence, he is boring them to death with a flat performance.
The Walking Dead may continue to survive while hemorrhaging viewers, but the show runs the risk of becoming a zombie apocalypse version of the final season of Happy Days. In other words, the show may get worse and worse while hanging on to a shrinking the audience. That is a fate worse than a living death.