Ratings for "The Walking Dead" had started to take a significant drop, and reactions to the recent season premiere episode are thought to be the likely culprit, but sources are unsure just as to why.

It could just be hard for new episodes to live up to the premiere

According to reports, the series has lost over four full rating point in total and almost three points in the 18–49 demographic.

This fall in the ratings could possibly be blamed retroactively on the success of the season’s premiere episode alone and that it does not speak for the season as a whole.

With a 17.03 overall rating and 8.4 demographic rating, the premiere episode was notably one of show’s highest rated episodes, after the fifth-season premiere, “No Sanctuary,” suggesting that this is simply a trend for the premiere episodes. Rick Porter, who serves as editor of TV By the Numbers, wrote in a released statement that this is hardly “disastrous” and not “unheard of.”

However, the series never dropped off more than 12.4% of its premiere audience beforehand, but that figure is starting to double, according to recent reports.

That said, a more pessimistic view has arisen from critics that suggest the premiere episode may be to blame through the opposite effect.

Excessive violence has also been blamed for the dwindling ratings

Some have started to blame the increase in violence during the controversial premiere episode as a possible explanation to why people are starting to become turned off of the show.

Two main points of issue for these fans was the violent death of the character of Glenn, who was reportedly a fan-favorite, and accusations of the show using the shock-value of graphic violence excessively, and specifically essentially using violence to replace direct storytelling.

Another point of issue was that fans had felt that the series did not follow-up properly on the cliff-hanger that ended the sixth season. Reportedly, fans had vowed to stop watching the series on social media as a form of backlash to the show, and it appears that they may have followed up on that promise.

The accusations of violence come out despite the show-runners previously making comments that the seventh season will intentionally downplay the show’s darker elements in upcoming episodes.

As mentioned beforehand, series actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays the character of Rick Grimes, had even famously quipped at the time that the show will now be “more Lord of the Rings than Lord of the Flies,” suggesting the show moving away from horror and more towards an adventure story.

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