The Walking Dead midseason finale was one of the better episodes of season seven. For one thing, it didn’t end with a cliffhanger (instead, we got a “gang gets back together and smiles” scene straight out of an 1980s movie). Also, Spencer is dead, and because Spencer was terrible, this is good news. But ratings for “Hearts Still Beating” were way down, especially when compared to the head-bashing premiere, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be.”
Deadline reports that, with 10.58 million viewers, “Hearts” was the “lowest any TWD winter finale has done since 2012 and down 24% from the one-hour Season 6 winter finale of November 29 last year – which was the second most watched midseason ender in the history of the AMC blockbuster.” The episode still did well in the key adults 18-to-49 demographic (5.1 million), but it got trounced (7.7 million) by the New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday Night Football. That’s a battle The Walking Dead usually wins.
Here are the ratings for every midseason finale to date:
Season 2: 6.62 million
Season 3: 10.48 million
Season 4: 12.05 million
Season 5: 14.81 million
Season 6: 13.98 million
Season 7: 10.58 million
That’s a discouraging trend, which as Deadline notes, “puts more focus than usual on the February 12 return of part two of TWD season seven.” It wouldn’t be a shock to see ratings gradually rebound, though. If the season’s morbid first half was about Negan laying down the law, the cathartic second half should see Rick & Co. fighting back. That’s always a crowd-pleaser. Also, as noted by our Dustin Rowles, too many episodes this season have been spent on tertiary characters who we don’t care about, instead of Daryl, Michonne, and Carol. What I’m saying is, blame the rating woes on Spencer.
Dude was the worst.