Now that Empire has set the bar for what a bona fide ratings juggernaut looks like, almost all other series look like failures in comparison. Yes, even shows that have broken ratings records, such as AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, which was watched by more viewers than any other cable premiere in history. Subsequent weeks haven’t been nearly as kind, though, and it seems like viewers aren’t fearing these walkers so much as they’re gradually tuning them out.

Episode 3 of Fear the Walking Dead, titled “The Dog,” brought in right around 7.2 million viewers on Sunday night, according to TV By the Numbers, and while that’s definitely still a respectable number of people for a cable show, it’s the lowest of the three episodes that have aired thus far. Compared to Episode 2, which brought in nearly 8.2 million people, the latest episode saw a 12 percent drop. Again, not a terrible decrease in viewership, but that episode had already seen the audience dip almost 20 percent from the 10.1 million that caught the record-breaking series premiere. At this rate, the audience might very well be halved by the time Episode 5 comes around. And what about Season 2?

But is this the fault of Fear the Walking Dead itself, or just its place on Sunday nights, where the NFL has been known to dominate the ratings on a weekly basis? The Walking Dead has been able to rise above football games on certain occasions, but it took years for that to happen. Compared to everything else on cable, Fear the Walking Dead is still destroying , both in total viewers and in the key adult demographic, so its downfall is mainly noticed when it’s compared to itself.

Another reason for the ratings dip might have something to do with Labor Day weekend last week, in which AMC just aired repeats of the first two episodes instead of showing a new one. Holiday weekend or not, it felt like poor planning for a brand new TV show to schedule itself so that it faced a week off in only its third week on the air. It’s not as if there are so many plot threads in the show that people will forget things from one week to the next, but still.

Or maybe it was the fact that, in the third episode of a series centered on zombies ending humanity as we know it, part of the story centered on characters playing Monopoly by candlelight.

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But it’s cool guys, because Nick was racking up, so that creates sibling rivalry, right? In any case, the episode ended on a strong note, and it should make next week’s episode pretty interesting. Will you be watching?

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