As per the trend for Season 7, The Midseason Finale of The Walking Dead runs nearly 90 minutes long as per Comicbook.com. Keeping with this trend, Episode 6 will run 10 minutes more ending at 10:10, Episode 7 is set to be a 90-minute episode ending exactly at 10:30 pm, and the Midseason Finale Episode 8 ending at 10:25 pm. Meaning the last part of this season will all be extended episodes. Yet has this extended episode wonderland been to the benefit of the show? This is what makes this all the more interesting.
Extended Episodes are Meant to Be Special Events, so do these episodes hurt ‘The Walking Dead’ more than help it?
Executive Producer Scott M. Gimple leans towards the help aspect of the extended episodes from his quotes. Gimple says, “We sneakily tell you the week before.”, he continues on to say about the episodes, “Yes there are, here and there. We’ve had the opportunity to do that, and that’s been really exciting. There’s a lot of story to tell and there’s a lot of characters to serve, and I feel really, really lucky we’re able to give the audience more story.” Yes, the audience has been given more story to work with, but does it help the show? That seems to be the dividing point if you pay attention to the ratings.
This is where the usage of multiple extended episodes gets interesting.
As noted in the ComicBook.com piece and noted by multiple sites, IGN being one such site, the ratings are down. The premiere of Season 7 had 17 million viewers and as of episode 5, ‘Go Getters’, the viewership is down to 11 million viewers. The ratings are still excellent for any night, that’s for sure. The Walking Dead is renewed for an eighth season so the show is safe. By the mid-season finale, all this talk about ratings will be a non-issue as it should get a spike from that. If there isn’t a spike from the mid-season finale then we might need to revisit this subject.
This season has had a lot to get into story wise, but the extended episodes have been overkill for some viewers. With other viewers, the season premiere was enough to drive them away but that’s another story entirely. The Extended episodes and a controversial season premiere have made Season 7 a divisive one.
So what do you all think of the extended episodes of The Walking Dead? Are you all more or less interested in the show? Are the episodes overused or used to great effect? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know.
The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9 pm on AMC.