'Breaking Bad' Season 5 Premiere Sets Series Record
The Bryan Cranston-starring drama's fifth-season premiere drew in 2.9 million viewers for a 2.2 HH rating in the show's 10 PM ET/PT slot. That rating marked a 34-percent Adult 18-49 demographic increase over 2011's fourth-season premiere and a 28-percent increase among adults 35-54 years old. Counting the 11:30 PM encore, it drew a total of 3.5 million viewers for the night.
Oh, and this was all pulled off despite AMC no longer being carried on Dish Network.
When all is said and done, the first episode of the final season is now the most-watched episode in the show's history.
"From day one, 'Breaking Bad' has been a passion project for all of us at AMC," said AMC president Charlie Collier. "This show has helped define what our brand stands for in terms of supporting quality storytelling and creative risk-taking. Working with these terrifically creative people on such outstanding material has been a joy-filled ride. I'm so pleased so share this success with the entire 'Breaking Bad' team.
"As our marketing campaign says, 'All hail 'The King,'" Collier concluded.
It feels a little bit like an end to one chapter of a pioneering era for the network. Once simply a network specializing in passing on Hollywood's classic legacy of film that paved the way for today, it was truly a combination of "Mad Men" - which just wrapped its own fifth season - and "Breaking Bad" that laid the original-series groundwork on the network for shows like "The Walking Dead" and "The Killing." Along the way, Cranston won three consecutive Best Lead Actor In A Drama Series Emmys for his portrayal of Walter White, a cancer-diagnosed high school chemistry teacher who turns to cooking methamphetamine to provide for his family after his (at the time) inevitable death.
Also, Aaron Paul has won a Best Supporting Actor In A Drama Series Emmy for playing Walter's delinquent, volatile sidekick, Jesse Pinkman.
The show as a whole has received two Outstanding Drama Series nominations.