The Conners Premiere: How The Show Handled Roseanne’s Absence

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the series premiere of The Conners. Look away until you’ve had a chance to catch up!

When it was announced a few months ago that Roseanne would be canceled after having a blockbuster return, people were shocked that star Roseanne Barr’s supposedly Ambien-fueled Twitter rant was able to cause so much trouble. Then, of course, ABC decided not to throw the sitcom baby out with the comedian’s bathwater (ick…sorry) and settled on Roseanne-less spinoff The Conners to, hopefully, keep the funny money train going. Well, now we know how the show dealt with her absence, and it was a lot deeper than we thought it would be.

When The Conners opens, it’s been three weeks since Roseanne’s funeral. We had heard that the comedy was planning to kill her character off, but it wasn’t confirmed exactly how she would die. Well, as the family is gathered in that iconic kitchen and trying to finally finish up all the casseroles that people left after Roseanne’s death, we hear that she died in her sleep of a heart attack.

As they disperse, with Harris still visibly upset over Roseanne’s death, Dan heads into the living room, which clearly shows that someone’s been sleeping on the couch. Darlene soon confirms that that someone is Dan, and it wasn’t for a nap. He’s spent a little over three weeks sleeping on the couch every night because Roseanne died in their bed, and he hasn’t been able to deal with sleeping there.

Having Roseanne die in their bed, probably as he was there sleeping next to her, is about to be the least of Dan’s worries. Jackie’s outside on a phone call, and when she gets done she calls Dan out to the porch, with Darlene and Becky following quickly behind, to let him know that she just talked to the coroner, who had done an autopsy on Roseanne. They had all assumed that she died of a heart attack, but the coroner told Jackie that it’s clear that she actually died from an overdose of opioids.

As you can imagine, after almost a month of getting used to the idea of Roseanne having a heart attack, Dan is none too happy about this development. He tells them that that’s not possible, because (as we saw last season) he realized what Roseanne was up to with hoarding pills and feeding her addiction to pain killers, and flushed all her pills down the toilet. Becky then shows everyone the bottle of pills that she just found while going through Roseanne’s closet, proving that she was much better at hiding the depth of her habit than Dan had thought.

That pill bottle, though, revealed a detail that Dan, in his sadness and anger, was able to latch on to. One of their neighbors, Marcy Bellinger (guest star Mary Steenburgen), seems to have been the one to give Roseanne the pills, giving Dan someone to take his anger out on.

When we next see Dan, he and his friend Chuck are at a bar and Dan is enjoying free drinks courtesy of the bartender, who knows about Roseanne’s death. But, Becky and Darlene soon walk in, with the latter holding a sign that reads, “Thank you, Marcy Bellinger, for the pills that killed my loving wife Roseanne.” Apparently, Dan actually had this taped to his truck and was driving around with it, so that everyone in Lanford could see it. When Darlene says he has to keep the sign off of his truck because it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen, he tells them that it’s either this or he drives his truck through Marcy’s house, then gets up, takes his sign and leaves.

Once everyone’s back at home, Marcy shows up to talk to Dan. He goes out and tells her she’s got some nerve showing up there after killing his wife, but Marcy begs him to take the sign off his truck. She says that everyone has seen it now and hates her, and she already felt guilty, anyway. She tells Dan that she hasn’t been able to eat and that she’s been drinking herself to sleep. Marcy also fills Dan in on what happened with Roseanne, noting that no one can afford their medications, so they all help one another by giving supposedly necessary meds to each other when they can.

Roseanne had called Marcy, told her that her knee wasn’t healing properly from the surgery and said she needed to get back to work because she and Dan were running out of money. She also told Marcy that she was the only one she could trust, so Marcy thought she was really helping and had no idea that Roseanne was addicted and likely saying the same things to several other people in town to get their pills. Darlene comes out and tells Dan that Jackie had just found even more pills hidden in an ice pack in the freezer while cleaning the kitchen, and that other people had given her mom pills too, meaning that it wasn’t all Marcy’s fault. When Marcy notes that she knows what it’s like to have an addiction and walks off, Dan feels a bit bad and tells Darlene to drive her home.

Darlene gets home, finds Dan futzing with his motorcycle in the garage and asks if he’s alright. Dan says he doesn’t know, because he has no idea who to be mad at now, meaning that being mad at Roseanne is out of the question at this point. Darlene tells her dad that she wishes she had known about Roseanne’s problem, and the she still needs her because she has no idea how to take care of the family without her. Then she declares, “The hell with it, I’m still gonna blame Marcy.”

The final moments of the episode showed the family gathered again the next morning, talking and arguing over breakfast as the familiar credits roll. Another scene at the very end shows Dan in his bedroom, finally getting back into bed to sleep for the night, and putting his arm around Roseanne’s pillow like she’s still sleeping beside him.

It’s clear that the family will be dealing with Roseanne’s death for quite a while to come as The Conners goes on. You can keep up with their progress when the show airs every Tuesday night on ABC at 8 p.m. EST.

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The Flash Revealed New Supervillain Cicada In All His Terrifying Glory

Spoilers ahead for Episode 2 of The Flash Season 5, called “Blocked.”

News that The Flash‘s new supervillain for Season 5 was going to be Cicada broke over the summer, and fans have been waiting months to see how he would differ from Barry’s past big bads. We knew he wouldn’t be a speedster and definitely wasn’t going to be Thinker 2.0, but The Flash kept him largely shrouded in mystery. Well, “Blocked” finally introduced Cicada, and he’s awesomely terrifying.

Cicada technically made his first appearance on The Flash in the final moments of the Season 5 premiere when he killed Gridlock by yanking him out of his transport, sapping his powers, and beating the stuffing out of him. We didn’t get a good look at him until “Blocked,” however, and the episode didn’t hold back on making him one scary bad guy. Iris was actually the first one to get a lead on him.

While the speedsters were chasing after the Meta of the Week, Caitlin and Ralph were attempting to help Cisco through his heartbreak, and Cecile was coping with the loss of her powers, Iris was working as a journalist to figure out what happened to Gridlock. There was clearly something to the story that he’d been murdered when he seemed poised to spend a long time rotting in the meta wing of Iron Heights, imprisoned but very much alive.

She tracked down one of the guards who had been transporting Gridlock, and he revealed that he and the other guards had been knocked out in the incident, with Gridlock the only one to die. He wasn’t altogether uninjured, however, as he was restricted to a chair and confined in a neck brace while he talked to Iris. Cicada only killed the meta, and the humans in the immediate vicinity were seemingly collateral damage.

Iris also got her hands on security footage of the attack on Gridlock’s transport. While the grainy video didn’t get a good shot of the perpetrator who seemed to appear out of nowhere, she could detect an distinctly unsettling sound. At that point, she couldn’t put a name of what it sounded like. That realization wouldn’t come until the end of the hour.

Team Flash finally got to meet Cicada face-to-face when they least expected it. They tracked a meta villain by the name of Vanessa to a location, and Barry and Nora raced off to try and stop her. All seemed to be shaping up for a relatively easy victory for the speedsters, and Nora clapped a pair of power-dampening cuffs on Vanessa. Unfortunately for Vanessa, another meta didn’t intend to be so easy on her.

Cicada appeared out of nowhere and stabbed Vanessa through the back with his lightning bolt-shaped dagger, shocking both speedsters enough that Iris sent Cisco and Ralph to back them up. Barry yelled for Nora to take Vanessa to a hospital, and he wasn’t so panicked that he forgot to call her by her superhero name rather than “Nora.”

After Nora raced off with Vanessa, Barry prepared to battle Cicada with Cisco and Ralph at his side. It should have been an easy three-on-one fight for these members of Team Flash, but they didn’t account for what Cicada could do. His dagger somehow managed to sap all of their meta powers, leaving The Flash without his speed, Vibe unable to vibe, and Elongated Man very un-elongated.

Cisco attempted to pick up the dagger and somehow restore their powers, but all he managed to do was slice his hands up and fail to do any good. To his credit, Barry took a swing at Cicada, perhaps coming to regret not taking some hand-to-hand lessons from Oliver Queen during one of their crossovers. Cicada easily defeated all three heroes and had Barry at his mercy, seemingly intending to kill him.

The day was saved in quite an unexpected way. Nora zoomed back onto the scene, having deposited Vanessa at a hospital and with her powers intact. Unlike Barry, she was not able to hold back her panic and remember to call him by his superhero name. The good news is that when she screamed “Dad!” in terror at the sight of Cicada apparently preparing to murder him, Cicada took a good look at her and… stopped.

Either Cicada has some kind of connection to Nora or Cicada has a heart somewhere deep beneath all the murderous rage, vengeance, and creepy buzzing sound. It’s difficult to guess at a connection to Nora or anybody else until we know if Cicada knows any of their secret identities, but his decision not to kill Barry may be as simple as not wanting to kill a father in front of his terrified daughter.

The earliest official description of Cicada revealed him as a “blue-collar everyman whose family has been torn apart by metahumans,” and his mission is to “exterminate” the metahuman “epidemic, even if that means picking them off one by one. He clearly loved his family enough that their loss has driven him on a crazed mission. Perhaps he doesn’t want to tear apart another family by killing The Flash.

That does raise some larger questions. After all, the Flash certainly won’t be the only meta on Cicada’s kill list to have a family, and he wouldn’t be very effective at exterminating metahumans if he spares every parent. Cicada also left Ralph and Cisco alive, which could point that he was shocked by Nora’s appearance rather than suddenly filled with mercy to spare her dad. He wouldn’t have been killing Ralph and Cisco in front of their children!

What are Cicada’s rules for killing and not killing? Why did he spare Cisco and Ralph? What is his connection (or lack thereof) to Nora? How do his powers work? We can only speculate at this time, although we do know a fair amount about his comic counterpart. How much of DC’s Cicada will be translated into TV Cicada?

We might get some information courtesy of Nora. When Team Flash was going over the footage of Cicada at the end of the episode, Nora recognized the sound and revealed the baddie’s name: Cicada. She clearly knows about him. Hopefully we only have to wait until next week to discover whether this is because of a personal history between the two of if Nora just spent a lot of time by the Cicada exhibit in the Flash museum.

The Flash didn’t waste time revealing Barry’s big secret to the rest of Team Flash, so maybe we can count on the show moving the plot forward quickly. Tune in to The Flash on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW for more Cicada. For more viewing options — superhero and otherwise — check out our fall TV premiere schedule.

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Halloween Has An Amazing Callback To The Original In Its Soundtrack

Music has always been a key part of the Halloween franchise’s place in pop culture history, with few scores being as iconic as the piano-dominant theme John Carpenter crafted for Michael Myers. That part of the legacy continues in the new 2018 sequel, with Carpenter back composing the score, but what you may not notice your first time seeing the film is that there is an special Easter egg hidden in the soundtrack. Director David Gordon Green recently revealed,

Last month I had the opportunity to partake in roundtable interviews with David Gordon Green during the Los Angeles press day for Halloween, and during the conversation I brought up the subject of Easter eggs. Having recognized a few nods to previous chapters of the series while watching the movie, I asked if he had any favorite detail-driven homages in the film. And while he also mentioned a bit that can’t be revealed until after the movie is released, he also revealed the spoiler-free bit above.

The song in the original Halloween that David Gordon Green is referencing can be found at the very start of the film shortly after Laurie Strode is first introduced to audiences. As she is walking to school, she is asked by her father to drop a key off at the Myers’ place — and it’s here that Michael Myers first sets eyes on her. After she leaves the key and continues on her way, Michael continues to watch her, and listens as she sings a song to herself.

Halloween was famously an extremely low-budgeted production, but that’s historically been a part of its charm. It’s an extremely straight-forward, no frills slasher film, and its simplicity makes it all the more terrifying. The production had more important things to spend money on than potentially expensive song rights, and so they came up with something of their own — and now that same track exists as something special in the 2018 sequel.

This is a great little Easter egg, but, as mentioned, it’s one of many scattered throughout the new Halloween. And while not all of them can be revealed right now, be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend in the coming days for more of our coverage and discussion.

Halloween, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and Will Patton, arrives in theaters this Friday, October 19th.

New Birds Of Prey Rumor May Reveal How Black Mask Will Be Used

Although this is just a rumor, if proven true, it could be considered a SPOILER for Birds of Prey, so proceed with caution.

Although plot details are being kept under wraps and nothing is official, it is reported that the villain in the DCEU’s Birds of Prey will be Black Mask, a Gotham crime lord who is a huge fan of torture. We don’t know for sure how the villain will factor in to Birds of Prey, but if a new rumor is correct, his actions will bring the team together and he will be the final boss in the third act of the film.

In the comics, Cassandra Cain was raised by assassins and trained to continue down that path. According to Revenge of the Fans, Black Mask kidnaps Cassandra Cain because of her skills, as he sees her as a perfect weapon that he can use to do his bidding. Black Mask also wants Cassandra to, in a Sith-like fashion, become his new favorite assassin after Huntress broke with him when she found out he killed her family.

Huntress is now hunting down Black Mask for what he did to her, and the abduction of Cassandra Cain unites her with crime-fighter Black Canary and Harley Quinn, who is trying to move on from Jared Leto’s damaged Joker. Meanwhile, Renee Montoya is hunting down both Black Mask and Huntress because of the blood on their hands.

According to the rumor, although the abduction of the young Cassandra Cain will unite the team of heroes and anti-heroes into an uneasy alliance, saving her will actually happen before the third act. But once she’s saved, Black Mask will send his men after the Birds of Prey and this will lead to the film’s climax where the heroes face off with Black Mask, and Huntress has her shot at revenge.

So if this rumor bears out, Black Mask will be the villain so dastardly that heroes, villains, former villains and everything in between unite against him to form the Birds of Prey. This also sort of maintains the Helena Bertinelli Huntress origin where her family is killed by the mob and she becomes a brutal vigilante. In this instance, their deaths will be by Black Mask’s “hands” and make for a familiar, but often compelling story of a student turning against the master once the wool has been removed from their eyes.

I like this story for Black Mask because it still allows for a character like Harley Quinn, who is traditionally a villain, seem justified in acting heroically. The abduction of a child to use as a weapon makes Black Mask the greater enemy.

This also feels like with Black Mask as the villain, the story will be very grounded and not give in to that common superhero film pitfall of a third act that gets too big and with too much CGI. In this way it isn’t the world that hangs in the balance, the stakes are much more personal.

Both Ewan McGregor and Sharlto Copely’s names have been floated as possible actors to play Black Mask, who, based on this rumor, will be an especially despicable villain. Whoever plays Black Mask will join Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

Birds of Prey is expected to start shooting early next year and is scheduled for release on February 7, 2020. For movies hitting theaters a little sooner, check out our 2018 release schedule and for everything from the DCEU, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

How The Vampire Diaries Characters Fit Into The Legacies Spinoff, According To Julie Plec

The Originals‘ Hope Mikaelson is not the only crossover teen character making her way to the spinoff Legacies. Klaus and Hayley’s daughter will be joined by Alaric Saltzman’s twin daughters, Lizzie and Josie. The twins were born on The Vampire Diaries and share deep ties to the show. The spinoff will find the girls having grown up quite a bit since then. Now in their teens, Lizzie and Josie have developed distinctive personalities. Legacies‘ showrunner Julie Plec offered insight into them, saying:

What Julie Plec shared with EW is some really telling info regarding what prospective Legacies viewers can expect. One interesting thing is that Lizzie will share a “sibling” rivalry with Hope. It makes sense for the show to explore such a dynamic and it is promising they chose to go that way. Having Lizzie feel that way towards Hope gives the show somewhere to go with their relationship. For fans of The Vampire Diaries, there are a lot of touchstones to the series.

Lizzie’s personality, for instance, lines up with one particular character. While she is not biologically related to Caroline, she is named after Caroline’s mother. That could have been a hint the franchise would pattern Lizzie after her. She often struggled with jealousy during her early days on The Vampire Diaries. Caroline also had instances of acting out, especially when she turned off her humanity.

Thankfully, Lizzie and Josie both have Alaric to rely on to help them through things. He tended to be a helpful resource on Vampire Diaries. Where Lizzie is dealing with feelings of jealousy, her sister wants peace. Showrunner Julie Plec opened up about the other half of the Saltzman sisters. What she teased about Josie is equally compelling. Plec said:

Josie sounds a lot like both Alaric and his late wife, Jo, the twins’ biological mother. Jo was also a considerate person, who dealt with a potentially dangerous sibling. Unfortunately, she was not able to defeat him before it was too late. Josie’s father Alaric is a profoundly caring person. Throughout his run on The Vampire Diaries, Alaric helped many people through different things. He also managed to never be in short supply of sage advice.

Based on what the actors had to say about their respective characters, Alaric and Josie will have their hands full with Lizzie. Whether Caroline’s absence may be playing a role in her acting out is unclear. The only way to know for sure is for Caroline to join her girls on the show. One aspect that makes the twins compelling is that they tie together multiple characters from The Vampire Diaries. So, it will fun to find out where Legacies takes them.

The premiere of Legacies is around the corner. The Vampire Diaries spinoff will premiere October 25 on The CW. It is among an outstanding amount of new series premiering this fall, so stay tuned.

The PS4 Message Bug Has Apparently Been Fixed

There was a malicious bug that had been affecting some PlayStation 4 owners when it came to opening up a message and having their system get bricked. It was a really annoying and frustrating bug for some gamers to encounter, but, thankfully, the nightmare of possibly opening up a message and having your system crash has been resolved.

The news about the bug being patched out came courtesy of the official Ask PlayStation UK Twitter account. The handler responded to a user who sarcastically mentioned that, in addition to sending text messages, voice messages and screenshots through the PlayStation Network, you can also send bugs that brick the PlayStation console.

The Ask PlayStation UK account then responded, stating that the issue had been addressed by Sony, and that the bug no longer disrupts a user’s PlayStation 4 console if they receive the message.

As noted by the account, Sony didn’t label the bug as “bricking” consoles, but rather that it sent the PS4 into an infinite state loop that would eventually cause it to crash. The post notes that the issue can be fixed within five minutes by accessing the PlayStation mobile app from a separate device, delete the message from your account, and then put your PS4 into Safe Mode before restoring the console’s functionality.

However, one must question how exactly the issue could be fixed if you don’t have the PlayStation mobile app? If you don’t use the app or regularly use your cellphone for apps, how exactly do you fix the issue?

Also, if a system is sent into an infinite crash loop and you’re unable to access the system in any capacity via means of powering it on or powering it down or resetting it without third-party intervention, then it effectively means that the system is bricked.

Quite naturally, even with a fix in place to address the message bug, some users asked if Sony would be permanently banning the users who had sent out the bug to purposefully brick other users’ consoles. The account replied by noting that the Twitter account is not part of the moderation team and that you’ll need the details of the user account who sent the message in order to have their account actioned, directing users to the submission form to report malicious content.

This isn’t the first time that Sony has encountered mass reports about a bug disrupting the functionality of the PlayStation 4. There was the infamous CE-3487 error from a few years back that corrupted save game files. Then we had the typical, intermittent connectivity issues that the service experienced quite frequently around the time when the DDOS script kiddies were prevalent, and that’s not to mention the 2011 hack that netted Sony some hefty fines.

On the upside, at least Sony was quick to respond to the bug and get it fixed before it did too much damage. Of course, if you still have problems accessing your PS4, be sure to follow the steps about downloading the app and deleting the message from your PSN account.

NCIS: New Orleans Alum Shalita Grant Is Returning To TV

NCIS: New Orleans lost a key member of its ensemble back in Season 4 when actress Shalita Grant left the series. Special Agent Sonja Percy is no longer tackling cases with the rest of the New Orleans branch of NCIS, but fans will be able to find Grant back on the small screen, and she’ll dabble in comedy this time around. Grant landed a role on the dark comedy Search Party on TBS.

Shalita Grant will play a character by the name of Cassidy, and she sounds quite different from Sonja Percy on NCIS: NOLA. Cassidy is a law school graduate who is more than a little superficial. She has become addicted to a fast-paced lifestyle and career, although her “vocal fry” and “arrested development” (via Deadline) may complicate things.

Cassidy agrees to take on a case pro-bono, although definitely not out of the goodness of her heart. No, she wants to prove herself and advance her career as quickly as possible, and she sees this case as a way to make that happen. Her superficial goal proves deeper than she could have expected, and she winds up in over her head in the case of the Search Party group.

In case you’re not up on the dark comedy, here’s what you’ve been missing with Search Party. The first season of the show focused on the disappearance of main character Dory’s college friend. Dory recruited her pals to help (however reluctantly) try and track down her missing acquaintance. The second season sees the characters dealing with a death that they must try and cover up.

The pro bono case Cassidy will tackle is none other than Dory’s. Based on the events of the first two seasons, it’s not difficult to see how the case will escalate pretty quickly for the lawyer. The good news for fans of Shalita Grant is that Cassidy won’t be just a one-off guest star. No, she’s on board in a recurring capacity, so we should see at least more than one appearance from her.

Search Party is expected to return in 2019, with no premiere date released at this point. Depending on when in the new year it premieres, we could see Shalita Grant back on TV with Netflix before she debuts on TBS. Grant landed a role on Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 over the summer. That show too is expected to return in 2019.

Shalita Grant’s Santa Clarita Diet character will be an FBI agent, and Grant has plenty of experience as a law enforcement character thanks to NCIS: New Orleans. Search Party could showcase her talents as an actress in a brand new way, and fans of her work from NCIS: NOLA or any of her other projects would probably be well-off to check out Search Party in 2019.

In case you need some shows to watch between now and whenever Shalita Grant returns to the small screen, check out our fall TV guide for your options and when to watch them. For new episodes of NCIS: New Orleans (without Grant), check out CBS on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

Why Venom Didn’t Use Carnage As Its Main Villain, According To The Producer

Like Venom, Carnage is traditionally seen first as one of Spider-Man’s enemies, but these two symbiote-powered characters have also had an adversarial relationship over the decades. So when it was announced that the Venom movie was moving forward, naturally some fans wondered if Carnage would be the main villain, and initially it seemed that would be the case. However, the lead antagonist position ultimately went to Riot, because as Venom producer Matt Tolmach noted, cramming in two iconic origin stories would have been too much. In Tolmach’s words:

Matt Tolmach has a point. In the comics, the Venom symbiote gave birth to the Carnage symbiote right before breaking Eddie Brock out of prison, and the latter gooey alien soon latched itself onto Eddie’s cellmate, Cletus Kasady. Even if Carnage’s origin wasn’t depicted that faithfully in Venom, it would have been incredibly difficult setting the stage for him at the same time we’re watching how Eddie Brock becomes Venom. Riot may not be as compelling of a villain, but at least it doesn’t take nearly as long to establish him. It’s more important to give Carnage his proper due, even if it means putting him in the spotlight later.

Warning: SPOILERS for Venom are ahead!

Of course, as those who stuck around for Venom‘s mid-credits scene know, Cletus Kasady did show up at the end of the movie. Well, his human host did, that is. After that mess with the Life Foundation was finished, Eddie Brock traveled to the San Quentin prison to interview Cletus, played by Woody Harrelson, who was locked up Hannibal Lecter-style. After some quick small talk with Eddie, Cletus proclaimed that when he escaped, there would be carnage. Real subtle, guy.

As Matt Tolmach also mentioned while speaking with Collider with fellow producer Avi Arad, the plan was always to feature Cletus Kasady in the Venom mid-credits scene. Now that we’ve been introduced to him, the path is paved for him to become Carnage and clash with Eddie Brock in Venom 2. A sequel hasn’t gotten the green light yet, but despite receiving numerous negative reviews, Venom has been doing well for itself commercially, so surely there’s discussion happening at Sony about making Venom 2 happen as we speak.

Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s Venom review and stay tuned for any news regarding a sequel. As for what this year’s other remaining movies are, you can look through our 2018 release schedule for that information.

5 Ways The Charmed Reboot Is A Lot Like The Original

What’s In A Name?

One of the biggest differences with the rebooted Charmed is that the family at the center of the story is Latin. So, instead of the Halliwell sisters, we have the Vera sisters invoking the Power of Three and trying to fulfill their destiny as The Charmed Ones. But, just like in the original show, each sister has a first name that begins with the same letter. In Charmed 1.0 were were introduced to Prue, Piper, Phoebe and (later) Paige, and now Charmed 2.0 has given us Mel, Macy and Maggie. And, in keeping with that idea, their mother is Marisol, whereas the Halliwell’s mom was named Patty. All this basically means is that anyone who loves alliteration and writes about Charmed will have their dream assignment if they play their cards right.

The Walking Dead’s Ratings Just Hit A New Low

The Walking Dead was once a juggernaut of primetime TV, setting and breaking ratings records on a regular basis. In recent years, however, interest in the zombie apocalypse has clearly waned, and the ratings trend for The Walking Dead has been distinctly downward. Now, the second episode of Season 9 has seen the ratings hit a new low. The ratings for “The Bridge” took The Walking Dead to a series low.

“The Bridge” episode of The Walking Dead scored a disappointing 2.0 rating in the key 18-49 age demographic on October 14. While a 2.0 rating is actually something plenty of other Sunday shows would undoubtedly love, it marks the lowest rating in that all-important demographic in the history of the series. In fact, it drops well below the previous holder of the series low ranking. The fourth episode of Season 1, called “Vatos,” had previously been the lowest-rated with a total of 2.4 in the key demo.

The series low comes a week after The Walking Dead‘s Season 9 premiere flirted with breaking its record for lowest demo ratings. The premiere only earned a 2.5 in the 18-49 demographic, which was a shock given that it was a super-sized episode touted as one of the last episodes starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. 6.08 million people tuned in to the premiere, and that is a significantly larger number than the 5 million who tuned in for the second episode of the season, according to Deadline.

Given that AMC has plans for The Walking Dead to last quite a bit longer than Season 9 and even already has plans for departing cast members Lauren Cohan and Andrew Lincoln (despite Rick’s probable death) beyond Season 9, the ratings may be a significant cause for worry. That said, delayed viewing is all the rage nowadays, and the ratings that are series low in Live+Same day calculations may get a healthy bump once delayed viewership can be taken into account in a couple of days.

It’s also worth noting that The Walking Dead aired at the same time as a high-stakes MLB playoff game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros on TBS, which scored a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic and won 5.6 million viewers. A baseball game really isn’t something that can be fully enjoyed with delayed viewing, so it’s possible that some Walking Dead fans prioritized baseball over the zombie apocalypse on October 14.

All things considered, it should definitely be interesting to see what happens with the ratings moving forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rick’s final episode — which will likely be promoted as such by AMC, if its handling of his upcoming departure in trailers is any indication — scores some big numbers from fans at least checking back in to see how the consummate survivor ends his journey. Beyond that… well, we’ll have to wait and see.

A big question might be what drove viewers away. Most shows — with the rare exception like Game of Thrones — do lose viewers on a regular basis as they get older, but not necessarily so drastically so relatively quickly. Did news of the time jump drive fans away? Or did the Negan saga exhaust viewers to the point of quitting the show? Is The Walking Dead simply too bleak for viewers after the better part of a decade? Are the upcoming departures a factor?

Only time will tell. If you’re still a viewer, you can catch new episodes of The Walking Dead (and hopefully learn who’s killing those Saviors sooner rather than later) on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on AMC. For some non-zombie viewing options, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.