News Briefs: Nielsen's New Twitter Ratings Say Breaking Bad Is the Best

By Tim Surette

Jun 03, 2014


... Nielsen threw together a nifty infographic of its fledgling Twitter ratings system in effort to name the biggest TV moments of the 2013-2014 season, and among the interesting stats are that Breaking Bad had the "greatest reach" of any television series last year, with chatter about the series finale hitting the feeds of 9.1 million people. In the "average unique audience" rankings, Breaking BadThe Walking Dead, and... Pretty Little Liars finished 1-2-3, with The BachelorGame of Thrones, Teen WolfAmerican Horror Story: Coven, ScandalThe Voice, and Dancing With the Stars rounding out the top 10. [Nielsen]


... The CW has announced a handful of summer premiere dates, for a couple one-off specials and the 21st cycle of America's Next Top Model. Here they are: 

Wednesday, June 4 at 8pm: IHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party (????)

Monday, July 28 at 8pm: 2014 Young Hollywood Awards

Friday, August 22 at 9pm: America's Next Top Model

[CW via press release]


... Ratings time! The debut of Halt and Catch Fire, AMC's '80s-set computer-revolution drama starring Lee Pace, flopped big time out of the gates on Sunday. Just 1.2 million viewers tuned in for the series debut, which is 900,000 viewers behind than the network's most recent series premiere (Turn, which drew 2.1 million viewers in April). Some folks may blame the fact that AMC put Halt and Catch Fire's first episode online and made it available via cable providers' On Demand services in advance of the premiere, but I think it was just a rough launch. Turn had The Walking Dead and that show's bazillions of viewers to help its launch, whereas Halt and Catch Fire relied on the smaller Mad Men and Turn audiences to let people know that it existed. It's a shame, because Halt and Catch Fire is the best new AMC show to debut in a long time. We'll get a much better idea of Halt and Catch Fire's real audience in its second week. [THR]

... TBS has renewed King of the Nerds for a third season, because television is currently taking advantage of geek culture in every way possible. Season 2 averaged 1.5 million viewers per episode, meaning more people watched two self-identified nerds drive remote-control cars into soccer balls than the debut of Halt and Catch Fire. Season 3 will run for eight episodes and air in early 2015. [TBS via press release]

... IFC has put a premiere date on Garfunkel & Oates, its upcoming comedy that's being described (by me) as Flight of the Conchords but with American chicks instead of New Zealand dudes. The series will debut Thursday, August 7 at 10pm and I'm going to watch it because it looks good! They sing folk songs about anal sex! [IFC via press release]

... To get you ready for the June 30 premiere of Under the Dome's second season, CBS will air a one-hour special on Monday, June 23 called Under the Dome: Inside Chester's Mill that will recap Season 1 and look ahead to Season 2. But if you can't wait for that, you can run into a wall really hard or huff some paint and it will pretty much have the same effect as watching Season 1. Or you can just read my recaps from last summer because I spent at least 20 minutes on each one of them. [CBS via press release]

... Andy Cohen, host of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, is developing a reality series called I Slept With a Celebrity. It will feature regular people who have done the nasty with somewhat-famous people telling all about their experience between the sheets, in the elevator, in the bathroom of a Taco Bell, or wherever. Hooray for humanity! [THR]

... Cartoon Network has ordered two more seasons of The Amazing World of Gumball, ensuring the animated series will run for five seasons. [Deadline]


... Enlisted's Parker Young and Keith David have been cast in DirecTV's first original comedy Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight. The series is set in Los Angeles and follows a single 12-hour period from dusk to dawn, with the belief that nothing good ever happens after midnight. Young will play a 19-year-old sophomore who tries to play a prank on his college dean, who's played by David. Young became a free agent after Enlisted was canceled and his CBS passed on his pilot Cuz Bros, which also starred his Enlisted co-star Geoffrey Stults. I'll watch Parker Young in anything because he's hilarious. Except Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight, because I don't have DirecTV. [THR]

... Sonja Sohn, best known as Kima from The Wire, is joining the cast of The Originals for the CW drama's second season. She'll play a witch named Lenore starting in the third episode. [E! Online]

... Jason Ritter once battled an alien conspiracy on The Event. But now he'll face his biggest threat yet: Lena Dunham. Ritter will guest-star in a Season 4 episode of HBO's Girls playing some dude named Scott. That's all we know about the character, but my inside sources say he will be a white male. [TV Line]

... A pair of castings in one story! 30 Rock's Keith Powell is headed over to the final season of The Newsroom as the human resources vice president of cable-news network AWM. And Treme's India Innega has landed the role of Camille in A&E's American remake of The Returned, which is important news because Camille is the best! [Deadline]

... Speaking A&E's American remake of The ReturnedTrue Blood's Kevin Alejandro is joining it the cast as a series regular. He'll play the "authoritative but accessible" Sheriff Tommy Moran. [Deadline]


... Soon there will be a language course to help would-be bloodriders learn the Dothraki language. Beginning October 7, Living Language Dothraki: A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones will be unleashed on the world in three formats: audio CD, an extended online course, and a mobile app. Finally, you can learn the phrase, "Hey mom, can you pick me up?" in the same language as Khal Drogo! [EW]

... Need a breakdown of THAT scene from Sunday's "The Mountain and the Viper" because you want to know whether it's physically possible? Here you go: [Time]


... Is Damon Lindelof still defending the ending of Lost? Kind of! Here's the showrunner talking about his upcoming HBO drama The Leftovers, and explaining why it won't end like his famous ABC series. [NY Times]


... The Brady Bunch's Ann B Davis, who played lovable housekeeper Alice, passed away on Sunday

... NBC has already announced its fall 2014 premiere dates, so now you can set your DVR for The Mysteries of Laura!

... HBO released the second trailer for True Blood's final season, and it might feature Alcide with his shirt off.

... I reviewed the latest episode of this show called Game of Thrones. Perhaps you've heard of it?

... I also reviewed the season finale of Silicon Valley, which might be my favorite comedy series of the year. 

... Kaitlin shared her thoughts on Saturday's episode of Orphan Black, which has been pretty crazy this season! And this week was no exception, especially that last scene!

  • Comments (19)
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  • firedrakes Jun 04, 2014

    Halt and Catch Fire. never heard of it nor seen any ad for it

  • mrjimmyjames Jun 03, 2014

    Too bad about Halt and Catch Fire. Watched the pilot and was impressed. First show i've seen launched by AMC in awhile that got me excited and boy does AMC need a hit. All they've been doing is desparately throwing up bombs. Hopefully AMC will stick it out and give it the support it needs.

  • mrjimmyjames Jun 03, 2014

    Bravo: making America proud.

  • ludoTV Jun 03, 2014

    The Halt show has a terrible name but aside that small (but highly irritating) fact, one cannot compare ratings when the lead is Mad Men (a niche show that nobody cares about anymore, no offence, and has mediocre ratings at best) vs. having as lead The Walking Dead which is a ratings machine. Anything debuting after The Walking Dead (or say on NBC after The Voice) gets a huge bump unrelated to quality...

    Having said that did I mention Halt Catch Fire has to be the worst show name in years people at AMC!

    Hey @timattvdotcom - maybe that is an idea for a poll, worst show titles ever? Probably it has been done but Halt just got us to new levels...

  • mrjimmyjames Jun 03, 2014

    Turn was the lead in. Mad Men ended the week before.

  • ludoTV Jun 04, 2014

    Huh... my bad, i do not even know what TURN is at all... am I missing a good show by any chance?

  • mrjimmyjames Jun 04, 2014

    Not really. It's about loyalists, etc. during the revolutionary war. But it's a terrible choice for a lead in.

  • mrjimmyjames Jun 04, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • JT_Kirk Jun 03, 2014

    AMC also forgot to actually market Halt and Catch Fire in any meaningful way, that generally will have something to do with it. This is the doldrums of pre-summer and any new content is generally appreciated, but you still gotta let people know it's there.

    Dang, Garfunkel and Oates get a really late-summer premiere, that's an oddity. They are a funny duo, I am not sure their humor will translate to the screen but it's worth trying.

  • KateSullivan Jun 03, 2014

    I have Halt & Catch Fire sitting on my DVR (I feel conflicted....I understood it got better, but I hated Rubicon, I still miss Breaking Bad, I am now concerned that Glenn is our first real main cast member to die on the Walking Dead, my American Women's history class ruined the concept of watching Mad Med for me, I hypothetically would have liked Turn but I had so many conflicts, I am just worried) together with Gang Related. I am not sure what my hesitancy in watching that one is either though. And like last night, nothing was on but I still haven't watched either. That doesn't bode well.

  • vicbjones Jun 03, 2014

    I hope networks don't start using Twitter as a metric for programming decisions. The ageist philosophy that people on this site seem to embrace ("Your opinion doesn't doesn't count 'cause you're not as much of a rube past 49.") is bad enough, but if a tweet gets 9.1 million hits, does that mean people actually read it? And are the people sending out these tweets actually watching the shows (or the advertisements)? Social media, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, I say, or the braying of an ass.

  • LOST-TWD-PP-GOT Jun 04, 2014

    Um, what's Twitter? :) BTW I'm 49.

  • LOST-TWD-PP-GOT Jun 04, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • safibwana Jun 03, 2014

    You have a point. I follow a lot of people who live near Hollywood, as do many people. A lot of people there tweet about the LA Kings. Does that mean I give a crap about their local hockey team? No, it does not.

  • amelie88 Jun 03, 2014

    I'm having bad dreams about THAT scene, and I had read the book. It still shocked me, I won't be able to close my eyes anymore

  • DresserBoys Jun 03, 2014

    Nielsen Gods have spoken

  • Gilda Jun 03, 2014

    "Breaking Bad had the "greatest reach" of any television series last year, with chatter about the series finale hitting the feeds of 9.1 million people"
    Could totally see that. When the finale was airing I remember that BB was the only thing that anyone was talking about. Glad that BB was the #1 show and not something stupid

    "Halt and Catch Fire relied on the smaller Mad Men and Turn audiences "
    that is so true. during almost every commercial break during MM there was a commercial with the two shows melded together (connection being IBM computers)

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