“The Walking Dead” suffered its lowest midseason premiere ratings in the show’s history.
Nielsen Live + Same Day reported the AMC drama, which is in its eighth season, had a 3.6 ratings in adults 18-49 with 8.3 million total viewers on Sunday. The numbers represent the lowest midseason premiere in the show's history, Variety reported.
However, viewership was slightly up from the show’s December midseason finale, which earned a 3.4 ratings in adults and 7.9 million total viewers.
Even with dismal midseason premiere numbers, the popular zombie-killing drama remained the top show on television Sunday. The episode beat out the Pyeongchang Olympics Closing Ceremony on NBC, according to Deadline.
This is the second time the show beat the Olympics. In 2014, the fourth season premiere of “The Walking Dead” had higher ratings than the closing ceremony of the Sochi Games.
"The Walking Dead" has suffered a ratings decline that some critics attributed to the gory turn the show took in its seventh season.
Negan, played by Jeffery Dean Morgan, opened the seventh season with a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat left two fan-favorite characters bloodied to a pulp. The very gory scene drew the attention of the Parents Television Council, which slammed AMC for violence.
Viewership waned throughout the seventh season with the premiere high of 17 million viewers dropping to 10.6 million viewers by the midseason finale.
It remains to be seen if the eighth season can bounce back from the low midseason opener.