AMC’s Breaking Bad returned last night with the first of its eight final episodes, delivering 5.9 million viewers, the most in series history and up 102% over the show’s season five premiere last summer. From 9pm – 10pm, the network earned a 4.2 HH rating delivering 3.3 million adults 25-54 and 3.6 million adults 18-49. Immediately following Breaking Bad, AMC premiered its newest dramatic series, Low Winter Sun, which got off to a strong start, attracting 2.5 million viewers. To close AMC’s first ever three-premiere night, the Breaking Bad after-show, Talking Bad – hosted by Chris Hardwick and featuring discussion and analysis of this iconic television series – debuted with 1.2 million viewers.
With 3.6 million viewers among adults 18-49, Breaking Bad is second only to AMC’s The Walking Dead in delivery to this key demographic, across all cable networks. With the success of these two shows, AMC is now home to cable’s top two dramas among adults 18-49.
On Saturday night, AMC’s Hell on Wheels returned with a two-hour season three premiere, delivering 2.5 million viewers, up 2% from the season two premiere and double AMC’s Saturday prime time average.
“We are so pleased and gratified by viewer response to a historic four-premiere weekend on AMC,” said AMC’s president and general manager, Charlie Collier. “For Breaking Bad to continue to deliver record-setting ratings in its fifth and final season is remarkable. Our new series, Low Winter Sun, is off to a strong start, and we have successfully launched another after-show in Talking Bad, which will super-serve Breaking Bad fans all the way through these final episodes. On Saturday, we also launched another night of original programming on AMC with Hell on Wheels, doubling our prime time average on Saturday nights, even before time shifting, and delivering the network’s highest Saturday night rating all year.”
The first of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad also became an event on Twitter, with 759,689 total show-related Tweets from nearly 400,000 unique users – approximately two Tweets per unique user. Aaron Paul’s (@aaronpaul_8) “It’s so close I can almost taste the meth #BreakingBad” Tweet at 7:23pm EST generated 25,175 retweets. Peak activity for the show on Twitter was at 9pm EST – 11,799 Tweets-per-minute and at the end of the show at 10pm – 7,859 Tweets-per-minute. Twitter data from SocialGuide.