Cable Ratings: Breaking Bad Premiere Hits Series High, Political Animals Starts Tame and More

Breaking Bad broke open its fifth and final season on Sunday night with a record audience of 2.9 million total viewers, up 14 percent from its year-ago premiere.

What’s more, in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos, the acclaimed AMC drama saw surges of 34 and 28 percent (to 1.9 million and 1.8 million viewers) versus the previous premiere.

For the night, across two airings, Breaking Bad amassed 3.5 million total viewers.

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Sunday’s other buzzy premiere, Political Animals, didn’t exactly “roar” out of the gate. The USA Network limited series opened to an audience of 2.6 million total viewers, Variety reports, and an estimated 0.5 demo rating (per TVByTheNumbers).

For comparison’s sake, USA’s most recent drama debut — Common Law — drew 2.5 mil and a 0.7 on a Friday night, while the cabler’s previous two launches — Suits and Necessary Roughness, circa June 2011– scored 4.6 mil/1.6 and 4.7 mil/1.4, respectively.

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The news was better across the dial for A&E, which saw both The Glades (with 3.4 million total viewers at 9 pm) and the already-renewed Longmire (4.5 million, at 10 pm) deliver their most-watched episodes of the season, rising 6 and 10 percent, respectively.