After a huge start to The Walking Dead Season 7 (see "'The Walking Dead' Season Premiere Draws Huge Ratings"), with over 20 million viewers in Live Plus Three ratings (see "'Walking Dead,' More"), ratings have dropped precipitously to levels under 12 million viewers per episode, according to Wikipedia via Forbes.  Ratings for the hit series haven’t routinely been in that range since Season 3.

It’s tough to keep a hit series going at the same level, and sales of The Walking Dead graphic novels have been dropping from their peak, with first-month sales of new volumes declining over the last two years (see "'Secret Wars,' 'Star Wars' Are 15 of Top 25 Comics"), at least until the most recent volume, which rebounded a bit.

But The Walking Dead TV series also has some unique issues, including an unpleasant storyline and what is undoubtedly some audience antipathy as a result of the big cliffhanger at the end of Season 6 and the peak violence that resolved it.

Whether this is a temporary drop that will reverse with changes in the storyline, or a more permanent decay in the audience will become clear in the coming months, with the concomitant impacts on sales of the comics on which it’s based and of the games and other merch based on the show.