Cable Ratings: The Walking Dead Continues to Drop, Shameless Returns Way Up

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Are viewers growing tired of The Walking Dead?

The ratings for The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 3 are in and they are rather underwhelming. The episode secured 8.5 million viewers and a 3.8 rating. 

Unexpected Problem - The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 3

While this is still a solid figure, it's becoming increasingly apparent that the show is trending downwards. The Walking Dead Season 8 debuted with 11.4 million viewers and a 5.0 rating on October 22. 

That figure was down considerably from the 17 million viewers who tuned in for The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 1. Granted, that episode was highly anticipated, but the erosion over the last few weeks has to be a little concerning. 

The show is still AMC's highest-rated series by a wide margin. Its closest competitor is Fear the Walking Dead which averaged 2.4 million viewers and a 0.9 rating for its most recent season. 

Eye For An Eye - The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1

Simply put, the show could drop to the 2 million range and still be safe. It just goes to show how integral the franchise is to AMC. The two top-rated series are from the same franchise. 

In any case, it would not be surprising if AMC pulled the trigger on a second spin-off. 

Meanwhile, Shameless Season 8 got a good turnout for its premiere. The opening episode managed to pull in 1.9 million viewers and a 0.7 rating. 

Debbie is Back - Shameless Season 8 Episode 1

The total viewer tally was up over 50 percent vs. Shameless Season 7 Episode 1. It will be interesting to see just how long Showtime manages to keep Shameless around. 

It is the highest rated show on the network by a wide margin, so it's hard to imagine them wanting to part with it soon. SMILF launched with 0.8 million viewers and a 0.3 rating right after Shameless. 

That's a decent figure for the new series. The first episode was online for a few weeks before its premiere, so it will be interesting to see whether it picks up in the coming weeks. 

Bridgette is Trying to Move On - SMILF Season 1 Episode 1

Over to you, TV Fanatics. What do you think of the ratings?

Sound off below!

Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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