/// Breaking Bad Finale Draws 10.3 Million Viewers

September 30, 2013  |  Media Week

After three take-no-prisoners episodes set the stage for the most anticipated series finale in recent memory, Breaking Bad ended on the highest of high notes. In masterfully bringing the narrative in for a landing, creator Vince Gilligan put Breaking Bad in a position to smash its own ratings records. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, AMC’s Breaking Bad delivered a whopping 10.3 million total viewers and a 5.3 rating in the key adults 18-49 demo. That marks a 57 percent improvement over the show’s previous high (6.58 million viewers) and a 56 percent gain versus last week’s high-water mark (3.4 in the demo). The 75-minute episode managed to derail much of the night’s broadcast fare , as ABC and CBS both sustained significant ratings erosion from 9-10:15 p.m. Not only did Breaking Bad hold its own against broadcast dramas The Good Wife and Revenge, but it also went head-to-head with the season premiere of Showtime’s Homeland and the juggernaut that is NBC’s Sunday Night Football. While Breaking Bad has earned a place among TV’s all-time greatest series, the show was the very definition of a slow burner. The strike-shortened Season 1 averaged just 1.23 million viewers, and Season 2 didn’t see a great uptick in deliveries. In fact, the show didn’t crack the 2 million mark until the Season 4 premiere (2.58 million viewers/1.1 rating). But once the end was in sight (and people were able to catch up via Netflix), the ratings began to soar . By the time it returned for its final eight episodes, Breaking Bad was routinely topping itself. Unlike many series that perhaps overstayed their welcome, Gilligan had Breaking Bad plotted out from beginning to end. There was no flab anywhere in the show, and the story just got leaner and meaner as Walter White’s options began to run out.

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Breaking Bad Finale Draws 10.3 Million Viewers

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