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.

RELATED | Breaking Bad Season 5 Premiere Recap: The Power of Attraction

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.

READER POLL | Political Animals: Does It Get Your Vote?

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.

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23 Comments
  1. George says:

    Wow! I didn’t expect anything overly huge given the competition last night, but I still thought PA would draw around a 1.0 in the demo

  2. V says:

    Where are the numbers for Leverage?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Haven’t seen them yet, obvs. I may add later, depending on when they come in. (TNT may not have paid for a rush.)

      • Jenn says:

        I’ve heard they did quite well.. 3.4 million viewers in Live + Same Day, up 4% compared to last year’s summer season average. According to cable fast national data, LEVERAGE also scored 2.5 million households, up 8% over last summer’s episodes. Among key adult demos, Leverage drew 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 1.4 million adults 25-54. It was a great episode and I’m thrilled that their numbers went up!

  3. V says:

    Leverage – 2 most hilarious quotes:

    Parker: “Thief juice tastes like bad guys”
    Parker: “Thief juice-It’s a mouth crime”

  4. Mína says:

    Summer tv has gotten insanely competitive. I might be watching more original programming in the “off-season” than I would in the Fall. Too bad my demo group and I have hardly any overlap…I’d love for my viewing trends to be counted

    • Mína says:

      Naturally I post this seconds before the BB ratings get posted. Great news for my favorite show!

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I find that I like a lot of summer series too. And some of the stuff that I watch during the fall started out as a summer series.

  5. Tori says:

    That’s without DISH network carrying it.

  6. Emily says:

    Matt, can you post the actual demo numbers for BB?

  7. bobbie says:

    the leverage episode was a lot of fun!

  8. Cash says:

    No surprise regarding PA’s numbers. People are sick of politics, and those that aren’t are already watching the much superior Newsroom.

    • AJ says:

      Well you already start in a hole when you make a show about one political party and it’s politics. There is a huge chunk of American tv viewers that are sick of that crap and don’t watch it. Then you have the other chunk of the viewing public that is sick of both parties and their constant bickering back and forth. Sad but true. You would think Hollywood would have learned by now, but no.

  9. Anna says:

    Being that it’s on on Friday with kinda no lead in is 0.7 good for common law? I really like the show and want to know what its renewal chance look like

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