Any series is bound to show its age after eight seasons, but The Walking Dead might finally have begun to decompose. Sunday’s Season 8 premiere ratings were the third-lowest in the series’ history, beating only the 2010 series premiere and the 2011 Season 2 opener.

According to Variety, Sunday’s 100th episode “Mercy” premiere took in an average of 11.4 million viewers, down “40 percent in the demo and 33 percent in total viewers” from last year’s Season 7 debut. Season 8 didn’t have quite the same batty Negan cliffhanger to entice viewers in, but it’s still a far cry from the 17.29 million viewers who tuned in for the Season 5 opener in 2014.

It’s worth remembering that a 5.0 in the key demographic of adults 18-49 is nothing to sneeze at, and The Walking Dead continues to drive non-sports social media on Sunday nights. Still, one has to wonder if The Walking Dead is officially on a downward slope, as any series might suffer after seven seasons and 100 episodes. The series has several years of Robert Kirkman’s comics left to cover, but will naturally have to weigh that against ever-increasing production costs and cast departures.

In the meantime, new episodes of The Walking Dead Season 8 will continue to air on Sunday nights, the trailer for which you can find below. How long should the series last, if ratings continually decline?

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