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Breaking Bad - Ratings hit series high (Updated)


The best show on TV and (one of ?) the best shows ever is finishing its summer run with a bang. On August 26, 2.98 million viewers (including 1.4% of the people between 18 and 49) were watching "Say My Name" at 10PM on AMC, making the penultimate episode of the first part of the final season the most watched episode in Breaking Bad's history, surpassing episode 5.01 on the overall audience (2.93 million viewers), but not on the demo (1.5% for the season 5 première).

Regarding original scripted series, Breaking Bad season 5 has aired in front of The Newsroom (HBO), Weeds & Episodes (Showtime), Political Animals (USA), Army Wives (Lifetime), Longmire (A&E) and Copper (BBC America).

Season 5 - Part I :

July 15 — Episode 5.01 (Live Free or Die) : 2.93 million viewers (1.5% of the 18-49 demo).
July 22 — Episode 5.02 (Madrigal) : 2.30 million viewers (1.2% of the 18-49 demo).
July 29 — Episode 5.03 (Hazard Pay) : 2.20 million viewers (1.1% of the 18-49 demo).
August 5 — Episode 5.04 (Fifty-One) : 2.29 million viewers (1.2% of the 18-49 demo).
August 12 — Episode 5.05 (Dead Freight) : 2.48 million viewers (1.3% of the 18-49 demo).
August 19 — Episode 5.06 (Buyout) : 2.81 million viewers (1.3% of the 18-49 demo).
August 26 — Episode 5.07 (Say My Name) : 2.98 million viewers (1.4% of the 18-49 demo).
September 2 — Episode 5.08 (Gliding Over All) : 2.78 million viewers (1.3% of the 18-49 demo).

Average for season 5 - Part I : 2.60 million viewers / 1.29% of the 18-49 demographic.

Key Nielsen Highlights for Breaking Bad's final episode of 2012 (10pm airing) :

2.2 HH rating : 57% over season 4 finale.
2.8 million viewers : 47% vs. season 4 finale.
1.7 million adults 18-49 : 37% vs. season 4 finale.
1.5 million adults 25-54 : 34% vs. season 4 finale.

Key Nielsen Highlights for Breaking Bad's first 8 episodes of season 5 :

2.1 HH rating : 44% over season 4 series average.
2.6 million viewers : 39% vs. season 4 series average.
1.6 million adults 18-49 : 56% over season 4 series average.
1.6 million adults 25-54 : 49% vs. season 4 series average.

Each Sunday night, on the coveted 18-49 demographic, except for episodes 5.05 (in front of Roseanne's Comedy Central Roast) and 5.06 (The Real Housewives of New Jersey did 0.1% better than night), Breaking Bad was the #1 show at 10PM.

Overall, on a weekly basis, Breaking Bad has only been beaten by True Blood (9PM) by a landslide (TB averages 2.7% of the 18-49 demo), Falling Skies (9PM) by an inch (FS was 0.1% above BB each week), and The Kardashians (9PM) (usually 0.4% above BB on the demo - yes, it makes no sense).


You want to compare with season 4 ? Why wouldn't you ? There you go :

July 17 — Episode 4.01 (Box Cutter) : 2.58 million viewers (1.1% of the 18-49 demo).
July 24 — Episode 4.02 (Thirty-Eight Snub) : 1.97 million viewers (0.9% of the 18-49 demo).
July 31 — Episode 4.03 (Open House) : 1.71 million viewers (0.7% of the 18-49 demo).
August 7 — Episode 4.04 (Bullet Points) : 1.83 million viewers (0.7% of the 18-49 demo).
August 14 — Episode 4.05 (Shotgun) : 1.75 million viewers (0.7% of the 18-49 demo).
August 21 — Episode 4.06 (Cornered) : 1.67 million viewers (0.7% of the 18-49 demo).
August 28 — Episode 4.07 (Problem Dog) : 1.91 million viewers (0.8% of the 18-49 demo).
September 4 — Episode 4.08 (Hermanos) : 1.98 million viewers (0.8% of the 18-49 demo).
September 11 — Episode 4.09 (Bug) : 1.89 million viewers (0.9% of the 18-49 demo).
September 18 — Episode 4.10 (Salud) : 1.80 million viewers (0.7% of the 18-49 demo).
September 25 — Episode 4.11 (Crawl Space) : 1.55 million viewers (0.7% of the 18-49 demo).
October 2 — Episode 4.12 (End Times) : 1.73 million viewers (0.8% of the 18-49 demo).
October 9 — Episode 4.13 (Face Off) : 1.90 million viewers (1.0% of the 18-49 demo).

Average for season 4 : 1.87 million viewers / 0.81% of the 18-49 demographic.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Numbers : We're showing that Breaking Bad's audience witnessed a considerable growth between seasons 4 and 5 : + 700 000 viewers overall and + 0.5% on the 18-49 demo.

Each episode of season 5 is above 2 million viewers whereas only one episode of season 4 was (episode 4.01 with 2.58 million). On the 18-49 demo, the lowest-rated episode of season 5 (episode 5.03 with 1.1%) is doing better than any of the 13 episodes of season 4 (except episode 4.01 which had reached 1.1%).


Sources : TV by the numbers and this post I made a year ago.

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