The Walking Dead may have enjoyed its best run of episodes in years, but episode 8 of season 9 was the lowest-rated midseason finale in the show's history.
'Evolution', which saw the demise of Jesus and the unveiling of the whisperers, managed a total of 5.1 million viewers.
By comparison, season 8's midseason finale (where Carl Grimes revealed to his dad Rick that he had been bitten) took 7.89 million.
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The good news is that episode 8 did rise from the previous week's (4.79 million), and let's be honest, the ratings are still very strong for a cable show that is in its 9th year and has had to deal with the loss of its lead character.
Showrunner Angela Kang explained the decision to kill off Jesus, saying that they wanted "something epic" to mark the whisperers' arrival.
"[Jesus is] a character whose life really matters to everybody in this group and the people who are left behind. It's going to have a big impact on them. It has a big impact on the story, "she said.
Jesus actor Tom Payne also admitted that he was happy to leave the show after growing his surprise by his TV character in the previous two seasons.
AMC has released the trailer for the second season, showing more Whisperers action, a flashback hint, and a potential glimpse at Whisperers leader Alpha.
The Walking Dead will return on Sunday, February 10 on AMC in the US and most likely on Monday, February 11th FOX in the UK. You can also catch up on the show via NOW TV.
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