Viewers have fleeing the AMC series in recent years, with this season attracting about 25% of The Walking Dead's peak viewership. "That’s a shame, because those who have moved on are missing a program that has been revitalized in seasons 9 and 10 under new showrunner Angela Kang," says Dalton Ross. He adds that "five episodes in, the current season has felt like one of the strongest in years. While The Walking Dead may not dominate online watercooler discussion every Monday morning like it used to, it is still easily the most watched scripted cable series on television. And the fans who are still watching have been rewarded for their devotion with some of the best story lines and developments in the show’s long, illustrious run." Ross offers five reasons for the creative renaissance, including great villains, a kinder (but not gentler) Negan, going old-school, still taking risks and a more collaborative environment. "Kang has a comfort and connection with the cast because she has been working on the series since Season 2, so when she stepped into her new role of showrunner, she was already well familiar with both the characters and the actors playing them," says Ross. "Trust had been forged on both sides. Often when a new showrunner comes aboard late in a program’s run, it can have the feeling of merely playing out the string, but that is certainly not the feeling with Kang. The cast of The Walking Dead feels revitalized, and with every stellar episode, the show’s viewers are starting to feel the exact same thing."