It's a narrative that's starting to become an annual tradition, especially since last year's premiere saw the show's ratings reach a nadir in its own right that was eventually shared with last year's finale.
This has nothing to do with Telltale Games and everything to do with the people involved with making "The Walking Dead" game and trying to take care of them in the meantime the best way we can. The previous low sat at a 2.7 for a series premiere. The Walking Dead Season 9 premiere-which was marketed as the beginning of the end for Rick Grimes-pulled in a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demo graphic and 6.1 million viewers.
It's not clear how many members of the Walking Dead's team will be brought on at Skybound, but with 400 miles between the two developers - Telltale is located in San Rafael, CA, while Skybound is in Los Angeles, CA - that will still result in a move for anyone who does make the leap over to the new developer. Even up against broadcast fare, its premiere will rank among the top-five openers this fall among adults under 50 (NBC's This Is Us had a bigger premiere, while Dead tied The Big Bang Theory's rating in the demo).
What might serve as the lemonade from the proverbial lemons here is the number of overall viewers has not quite reached a low.
Though these numbers show a stark downward trend for AMC, its Premiere online subscription service had its biggest single day for new signups after the premiere episode was made available a full day prior to its televised debut. Indeed, TWD firmly remains the top-rated cable series for Sunday night. Among them are the repetitive storylines, Negan's continued presence, and the lackluster zombie action. Thus, there are developments ahead with the potential to win back lapsed viewers.