‘The Walking Dead‘ season 6 finale was not quite what fans wanted. Season 6 had been one of the better seasons in recent memory but the cliff hanger ending though did not sit well with fans. This one included. I had prepared myself all week for the loss of one our main group of survivors. Many did, so when they left us with a cliffhanger many fans felt burned. If the finale’s rating are any indication they probably should have gone out with a bigger bang.
Among total viewers, Sunday’s 90-minute “Last Day On Earth” episode declined just more than 10% from the March 29, 2015 “Conquer” episode, which was also around 90 minutes long and directed by executive producer Greg Nicotero. Unlike last year, TWD’s finale faced the 51st Academy of County Music Awards on CBS on Sunday, which itself was down sharply from 2015. In the key demo, the 6.9 rating that the April 3 airing snagged was down 16% from the Season 5 finale. In fact, in total viewership, the Season 6 finale was the lowest end to a TWD cycle since the 12.42 million Season 3’s finale saw on March 31, 2013. Among adults 18-49, the Season 3 ender had a 6.4 rating, just more than 7% less that the Season 6 finale.
Now, compared to the cliffhanger penultimate episode of March 27, the Season 6 finale rose 15% in total viewers and almost 20% among adults 18-49 — typical for finales. Within the season itself, the April 3 finale was basically even with the November 29, 2015 midseason finale in viewership and the demo. Total viewership for Sunday’ show was up 2% from that “Start To Finish” episode, while 18-49 went down a negligible 1%.
Despite a Season 6 that has seen dips and declines from the series’ previous ratings pinnacles, the show based on Robert Kirkman’s comics is still far and away the top-rated series on all of TV. Within the confines of this season that has just ended, Sunday’s finale was the second-most-watched episode of the entire run, with only the 14.63 million viewers of the 90-minute Season 6 premiere of October 11 last year doing better. Among 18-49s, TWD’s Season 6 opener, which was down from the year before, drew a 7.43 rating with 9.4 million watching in the targeted group.
Of course, AMC puts their emphasis on the Live+3 numbers, which have repeatedly shown double-digit increases for TWD this season. We should see those delayed viewing numbers by the end of the week.
Until next season!