When network bean counters decide a show has gone over budget, or they cut the budget because ratings aren't “high enough”, great shows air crappy episodes that scare viewers away.
The Walking Dead started out strong, and has always had decent ratings, but the budget was slashed so hard for the second season the show's dramatic build-up came to a stand still on Hershel's farm.
Survivors stuck on a farm for an episode or two seemed like a novel idea, but the combination of no budget and the firing of director Frank Darabont meant the survivors were trapped on the farm for far too long.
LOST made a similarly stagnating move by locking main characters in polar bear cages for six episodes in the third season, making viewers wonder whether they'd mistakenly tuned in to Prison Break.
People thought the LOST writers were running out of ideas, but the show was just over-budget and buying time, hoping the spectacular season finale would make viewers forget about those crappy episodes.
But by then the show had lost a ton of viewers they wouldn't get back until the hype surrounding the end of the series made people curious about The Island again.