'Breaking Bad' Premiere Breaks Series Ratings Record
Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, and these "Breaking Bad" ratings numbers prove it. After a year away, the hit AMC drama premiered Sunday night to 2.6 million viewers, a record for the series. In fact, that's 30% more viewers than the season three premiere drew.
The premiere even beat the fourth-season premiere of AMC's "Mad Men" in a number of key demographics. The biggest one was men 18-34, in which "Breaking Bad" was up 142% over "Mad Men"s' numbers in the same demo. That's not as surprising considering that "Mad Men" is about advertising, infidelity and gender issues while "Breaking Bad" is about meth labs and murder, but it's still a pretty wide difference.
This means that the year off didn't hurt the show's viewership...in fact, it seemed to help it. Perhaps more viewers had a chance to catch up by watching previous seasons on DVD? Maybe the time away just made viewers hungrier for new episodes?
In any case, this could bode well for "Mad Men," which is currently taking a very long time away between seasons thanks to contract disputes. Those disputes are now resolved, but we still won't be seeing new episodes until 2012. But if absence does make the heart grow fonder, that means that people will be even more in love with "Mad Men" when it finally returns.