The Walking Dead started with approximately 5.4 million viewers with its pilot in 2010 but then broke records in the premiere for Season 4 with 16.1 million viewers. Average viewership per episode this season was 13.3 million viewers a week.
The show, in its now complete fourth season, has become the most watched cable television show in history. Every season the writers and executive producers continue to make us scream, cry, smile, and question our morals.
Jessica Clements, junior, said, "I would say that the Walking Dead's fame is a big result of it being 'one of a kind', there are no other shows like the Walking Dead on TV in either the US or the UK, only films. 'Zombies' are not particularly weaved into UK programs or films, so for an English girl, it's a refreshing change to our television screens."
The creators took many risks developing a better story to continue the growth of our favorite characters. Our favorite "walker" killers have suffered many devastating losses and even more harsh realizations about the world they roam. The mid-season finale left Walking Dead fans wanting more as the groups were separated into several smaller factions after the fall of the prison and the loss of their moral compass, Hershel Greene.
The second half of season four changed the dynamic of the characters and the show dramatically. The writers and executive producers of the show dove into the emotions that surround the main characters as they face the loss of the prison, their friends and make their way to a safe haven called Terminus.
Every week focused on different characters of the group as they learned to cope with the harshness of the dangerous world around them. The last remaining couple on Earth, Maggie and Glen, and their new friends are reunited.
Katana wielding warrior, Michonne, reunited with Rick and Carl. Tyreese and Carol face very life-changing, stressful decisions in "The Grove." Daryl finally begins to restore his faith thanks to Hershel's daughter Beth, before she's kidnapped. Daryl then meets The Claimers where he then runs across Rick.
Rick, Daryl and The Claimers cross paths during the finale (15.8 million viewers this episode) and in this scene we witness a defining moment in all characters involved. After Carl is almost violated by one of the marauders, Rick takes immediate revenge and brutally murders the man. Fans hope to finally meet the merciless and strong-minded Rick from the comic book.
Hopefully season five reunites us with a few stragglers that haven't made it to Terminus. We are left with a bittersweet moment and a cliffhanger in the final moments of season four. It seems the majority of the group has made it to the middle of the railroad tracks, a place they thought was safe: Terminus.
"Those who arrive, survive," said the signs along the tracks. Terminus turns out to be anything but safe, since the residents locked up our beloved characters to be possibly saved for human consumption. That's right. Cannibals.
This group put together by fate continues to get pushed to their limits and they still find enough strength to keep moving forward. Next season we'll hopefully see some of that strength and maybe (fingers crossed) characters we haven't seen at Terminus will save the prison group.
"Season five is going to be something completely different," said writer of season four and executive producer Scott Gimple.
Clements said, "The writers have exceeded my expectations entirely."
We're going into the new season with nerves in our guts, aches in our hearts and many questions, but one thing we know for certain is that these cannibals are screwin' with the wrong people.