News Briefs: Breaking Bad Went Out With HUGE Ratings

By Tim Surette

Oct 01, 2013


... Remember those days when you could say, "Oh dude, you should watch this little show called Breaking Bad," and then you reap the rewards of being in-the-know and cool and a trendsetter? Well those days are over, not just because Breaking Bad is over forever, but because it's officially a ratings hit. WHAT!? I know! Last night's series finale drew... brace thyself... 10.3 million viewers, destroying the series' previous high of 6.6 million viewers, a record that was set during the penultimate episode. The 10.3 million who tuned in for the end accounted for a 300-percent increase over Breaking Bad's Season 5A finale. If you're keeping score at home, here are the audience numbers, in millions, of each Breaking Bad season finale: 

Season 1: 1.5 million

Season 2: 1.5 million

Season 3: 1.6 million

Season 4: 1.8 million

Season 5: 2.8 million

Season 6: 10.3 million

That is some impressive growth. And I believe Breaking Bad became available on Netflix during the summer of 2011, which would've been been right when you the ratings jumped. One more thing to note: 10.3 million is still shy of The Walking Dead's ratings record for AMC, which tops 12 million. [AMC via press release] 

... You can add more than half a million viewers to the Breaking Bad finale's "official" number of 10.3 million, as the episode was illegally downloaded more than 500,000 times in its first 12 hours on the web. [Variety]


... Original content is okay and all, but what we really want are SPIN-OFFS! ABC is toying with the idea of a Modern Family spin-off, because it's too early to spin off Super Fun Night, I guess. This is all very early in development, but rumor has it that guest-star Rob Riggle's real-estate agent character Gil Thorpe is being considered as its potential center. But the big question is: Will Modern Family spin off its lock on the Emmys? [Deadline Hollywood]

... In other somewhat-relevant ratings news, Homeland returned bigger than last year, despite everyone's eyeballs being glued to Breaking Bad. The Season 3 premiere of Showtime's terrorist drama was up nine percent from last year's season opener, to 1.9 million viewers (the series high is 2.3 million viewers). The premiere of Masters of Sex followed, and drew 1 million viewers. [Deadline Hollywood

... We've gone from two upcoming Hillary Clinton biopic miniseries to zero upcoming Hillary Clinton biopic miniseries in a few hours. NBC and CNN have both canceled their in-development Hillary projects, because the Republican party pushed them around and threatened them. When the two projects were first announced, the G.O.P. stomped its hooves and snorted, complaining that they'd show preference to the potential presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. The Republicans threatened to shut out NBC and CNN from broadcasting any Republican presidential primary debates unless they dropped the series. But don't just blame the networks for wussing out; it reportedly became difficult for producers to research the projects with subjects refusing to participate because of political pressure. Way to go, Republicans. Just like what you do with Congress! [Variety]

... CNN has renewed Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for a third season. The travel show follows outspoken foodie Anthony Bourdain as he checks out the nooks and crannies of the globe in search of great food and fascinating culture. It also happens to be pretty entertaining. [THR]

... IFC has given a series order to Garfunkel & Oates, a comedy series starring musical-duo Garfunkel & Oates. Think of it as a female Flight of the Conchords. IFC is eying a 2014 date for the series. [IFC via press release]


... Justified has added to the Crowe clan, casting Michael Rapaport (The Mob Doctor, Zebrahead) to play Dale Crowe, a relative of Dewey, in the upcoming fifth season. Dale is an ex-con who owns an alligator farm in Florida, which sounds about perfect for Justified. Rapaport was recently cut from the cast of CBS's The Millers, freeing him up to join Justified. This is the television equivalent of being kicked out of the army draft during a war with hell monsters to be an official taste-tester for Ben & Jerry's in the Caribbean. [TV Line]

... Paget Brewster will return to Criminal Minds. Brewster, who played Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss from 2006 to 2012, will appear in the series milestone 200th episode, which is supposed to be flashback-heavy and a treat for CM fans. Look for it in February. [TV Guide]

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  • LeahLefler Oct 02, 2013

    yay! Paget Brewster is awesome. can't wait. plus, the Breaking Bad news is fantastic. I'm not surprised considering all the hype plus the super awesome quality of season 5.5. the finale was incredible!

  • numberonecubsfa Oct 01, 2013

    Woo, Paget Brewster!

  • wudntulik2know Oct 01, 2013

    Breaking Bad Went Out With HUGE Ratings

    As it should have. I never watched the show and I was transfixed. As opposed to the finale of .... well, you know .... where I was muting and fast forwarding and watching the clock and yelling WHAT THE F*** at the fade in to Brawny Man.

    Here's hoping BB makes it big in whatever medium the kids are using today to make shows like this rich after they go off the air.

  • CaitlinRice Oct 01, 2013

    I love Garfunkel and Oates so I'm completely on board for that.

    Breaking Bad's numbers don't surprise me in the least. I don't remember the last time a final season got so much attention from the media. It was all over the place. And I'm sure the Emmy win helped things out a bit.

  • dh4645 Oct 01, 2013

    yeah the wife and I watched all of BB on netflix before the 1st part of this last season.
    so glad we did

  • Writerpatrick Oct 01, 2013

    The Hilary Clinton biopics were more likely dropped because Hilary Clinton just isn't that interesting. It's Bill Clinton's antics that people were interested in. And it's just as well for her and the party since she has a string of failures. She failed with a healthcare plan, she failed to keep her husband under control and she failed to win party leadership. It also wouldn't help her to be portrayed as a helpless victim of Bill's cheating when she's trying to portray herself as a strong leader.

  • terminaltrip421 Oct 01, 2013


  • TrevPlatt Oct 01, 2013

    "This is the television equivalent of being kicked out of the army draft during a war with hell monsters to be an official taste-tester for Ben & Jerry's in the Caribbean."

    Wordy but apt.

  • cuculhain Oct 01, 2013

    Justified's producers know what they're doing. and Rappaport can act . So this was a good news update. If he cant get away from the Brooklyn accent then maybe it will be a problem, but I've seen him in other roles so I doubt that will be a problem. Now it is just a question of whether of not he is going to be the seasons big bad or whether it is going to be Theo Tonin

  • sleepy-sonic Oct 01, 2013

    I hated Rapaport's character on Prison Break, so I'm worried that he is going to ruin Justified for me.

  • terminaltrip421 Oct 01, 2013

    I would be disappointed if you said you liked anything about prison break. I really wouldn't have assumed it and justified's audiences overlapped that much.

    I would say see higher learning if you want an idea of his acting ability though you probably should have already seen it by now.

  • sleepy-sonic Oct 01, 2013

    Season 1 of Prison Break was watchable, the rest was bad.

  • ted2332 Oct 01, 2013

    Season 1 was great.

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