‘The Walking Dead’ was once the most-watched show in cable television history. Now, it may have bitten off more than it can chew. Here’s why.
There was a time when ‘The Walking Dead‘ was must-see TV on Sunday nights, gaining 17.3 million viewers during the season five premiere. Seeing this level of success, the show decided to expand its horizons, launching a spinoff series in ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ announcing a Rick Grimes trilogy of films hitting theaters soon, and now a new spinoff series set 10-years after the apocalypse set to premiere in Spring 2020 (below).
Since that record-breaking episode, however, ratings for the hit show have steadily dropped as fans have fallen out of love with the direction of the series. Also, multiple members of ‘The Walking Dead’ cast have departed, leaving people to have to reconnect with new castmembers. What’s more, the show’s creator, Robert Kirkman, recently abruptly ended the comic book series, leaving us to wonder about the fate of the television show.
We live in a time of excess. A successful launch of the Marvel Universe in ‘Iron Man’ back in 2008 resulted in 22 more MCU films. These films have yielded $22.5 billion worldwide, the highest-grossing franchise of all-time.
As a result of all this success, Disney went on to buy Lucasfilm, which owned the rights to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, back in 2012 for $4.05B. This has resulted in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise creating multiple spinoff films and TV shows of their own. These have already generated more than $4.8B at the box office.
There will come a time, however, when audiences will have had enough, which harkens back to Kirkman’s decision to end ‘The Walking Dead’ comic book series so abruptly. “I was acutely aware of how it could become repetitious and I really wanted to avoid that. I wanted there to be a narrative flow, and in order to achieve that, I knew I would have to wrap it up,” Kirkman told a Comic-Con audience back in July.
All of the series’ play to similar beats and share storylines, making me wonder when will enough be enough?
The ratings suggest that for some folks, they’ve had enough.