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

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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.



Comments (23)

  • 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

    Comment by George – July 16, 2012 11:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Putting it against Breaking Bad probably didn’t give it the desired counter-programming effect.

      Comment by ScrubsGuy – July 16, 2012 12:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where are the numbers for Leverage?

    Comment by V – July 16, 2012 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Haven’t seen them yet, obvs. I may add later, depending on when they come in. (TNT may not have paid for a rush.)

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – July 16, 2012 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 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!

        Comment by Jenn – July 16, 2012 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Leverage – 2 most hilarious quotes:

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

    Comment by V – July 16, 2012 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • sophie’s comments about rain vs fog were pretty funny too

      Comment by Maggie – July 16, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I thought “give me the teddy bear” was freaking hilarious.. especially given that it was Eliot that said it! Lots of great 1 liners last night!

      Comment by Jenn – July 16, 2012 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Eliot can rough me up and down all day – Oops, did I say that out loud? LOL

        Comment by V – July 17, 2012 10:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by Mína – July 16, 2012 12:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Naturally I post this seconds before the BB ratings get posted. Great news for my favorite show!

      Comment by Mína – July 16, 2012 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Snsetblaze – July 17, 2012 08:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That’s without DISH network carrying it.

    Comment by Tori – July 16, 2012 12:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Matt, can you post the actual demo numbers for BB?

    Comment by Emily – July 16, 2012 12:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s about 1.5 in A18-49 (depending on how they round the number off). Final Sunday cable numbers for all networks come out on Tuesdays.

      Comment by EatMorePez – July 16, 2012 12:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Ah, he added it. 1.9 and 1.8.

        Comment by Emily – July 16, 2012 02:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • That’s 1.9 million and 1.8 million viewers in each demo. That’s not the same things as 1.9 and 1.8 ratings points in the demos.

          Comment by EatMorePez – July 16, 2012 10:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yeah, no way it goes as high as a 1.5 demo. Its somewhere around a 1.0 to 1.2 demo.

        Comment by yankeesrj12 – July 16, 2012 03:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • All Sunday cable ratings are now out, and Breaking Bad did in fact get a 1.5 rating in A18-49.

          http://bit.ly/Nu21PG

          Comment by EatMorePez – July 17, 2012 10:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • the leverage episode was a lot of fun!

    Comment by bobbie – July 16, 2012 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No surprise regarding PA’s numbers. People are sick of politics, and those that aren’t are already watching the much superior Newsroom.

    Comment by Cash – July 16, 2012 03:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by AJ – July 16, 2012 05:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by Anna – July 16, 2012 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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