The Walking Dead Season 9 premiere

AMC



Almost six million people are missing. They were last seen watching "The Walking Dead" Season 8 premiere. They were actually the survivors. The year before that, there were nearly six million MORE people watching "The Walking Dead" Season 7 premiere.

So, yeah, nearly *12 million people* have vanished since October 2016.

If TWD keeps losing close to six million people a year it'll be in a tough spot for Season 10, since there are only six million people left.

Long story short -- "The Walking Dead" Season 9 premiere had the lowest ratings yet. Sure, there was a lot of competition Sunday night, but there always is during the fall.

Season 9, Episode 1, had 6.08 million viewers and a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic. That's down 50 percent from the Season 8 premiere, which had 11.44 million viewers and 5.0 rating.

Last year's premiere was actually the lowest in years, but the AMC show fell further this year. Yes, it's still the highest rated cable show, but it's clear the people who used to watch are either watching later in the week -- those numbers will be out soon -- watching later in the year, or not watching at all anymore.

Contrast October 7's 6 million with the 17 million who watched the Season 7 premiere just two years ago. Even more watched the Season 5 premiere in 2014. Season 6 "dipped" a bit with 14.63 million viewers, but TWD may never see those kinds of numbers again.

The Walking Dead Season 9 premiere, Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln

AMC



Season 9 has already made headlines for marking the final season for Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. It's possible that news was leaked early to try and get more viewers to tune in for the whole season. So far, not so good on that front. TWD premieres tend to have the highest numbers of the season. It's possible this year Andrew Lincoln's final episode will get more eyeballs, and maybe it will grow across the year from positive word of mouth. Remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, "Doctor Who" Season 11 was up from the Season 10 premiere -- although "up" for them is just 1.37 million viewers for a showing at 1:45 p.m. ET to be simulcast with the premiere in the U.K.

Are you part of the six million still sticking it out with "The Walking Dead" on Sunday nights, or are you one of the nearly-six million they lost in the past year?

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