NEW YORK — “The Walking Dead” aired its 100th episode for its eighth season premiere last Monday, although it wasn’t necessarily cause for celebration at AMC.
The show had 11.4 million viewers on Sunday night, down 33 percent from last fall’s seventh season premiere, which had 17 million, the Nielsen company said.
AMC said there are all kinds of mitigating factors, primarily that last year’s premiere was a cliffhanger that drew an unusual number of fans.
Live television viewership is down across the board, particularly among the younger viewers that are the most avid fans of “The Walking Dead.”
It’s still the most popular scripted show on television for viewers aged 18-to-49-years-old. The premiere numbers are on a par with the 10.9 million viewer average for the last eight episodes that aired.
But those numbers have to raise eyebrows over at AMC, particularly coming off a season that disappointed some of the show’s fans.
Despite the ratings weakness, the season debut received some strong reviews.
The episode “manages to add some energy into an aging series and to at least partially hit the reset button,” wrote Kelly Lawler for USA Today. (AP)