News Briefs: Breaking Bad Returns to Series-Best Ratings

BUSINESS TIME

... Some things just get better age. Like Walter White. AMC's Breaking Bad returned for Season 5 last night and set a personal best, drawing 2.9 million viewers in its first airing. That's the most total viewers ever for an episode of Breaking Bad, and up 14 percent over last year's premiere. Shows typically lose their audience over time, but thanks to the series' availability on Netflix and me telling every single person I know to watch it NOW, Breaking Bad is getting bigger. [AMC via press release]

... USA debuted its new miniseries Political Animals last night, and it drew 2.6 million viewers. It's a disappointment for USA, which was pondering turning the miniseries into a full-fledged series if the ratings were good. Political Animals, about the family of a former president that's stuck in the D.C. machine, was a pretty big investment for the network, with a top-billed cast of Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino, James Wolk, Sebastian Stan, and Ellen Burstyn. [THR]

... BOOM! BLAM! EXPLOSION! TNT is obviously a perfect fit for Michael Bay by name alone, so the network has ordered a pilot for Bay's The Last Ship. The thriller, based on the book by William Brinkley, follows the crew of a naval destroyer that survives a global nuclear catastrophe that kills almost everyone in the world. [TNT via press release]

... A new study shows that kids who watch too much TV will be fatter and weaker than kids who don't, in general. The study comes from the same research group that drew correlations between bacon being tasty and puppies being adorable. [Time]


CASTING NEWS

... Mark Consuelos of All My Children fame is joining the Season 2 cast of American Horror Story. He'll play a patient at the loony bin that's the setting for the sophomore season. According to commenters on EW.com, he's a terrible actor and he might be gay. [EW]

... Grey's Anatomy is admitting another hunky doctor! Former Friday Night Lights star Gaius Charles (he played SMASH Williams) will join the cast on a recurring basis next season. Grey' has a total crush on FNL's men, with past guest appearances from Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons, and Zach Gilford. [TV Line]

... Mary J. Blige will be a mentor on the next season of NBC's The Voice, joining Adam Levine's team. Yay? [Rolling Stone]

... Which people who you've never heard of will be dancing for a chance at tabloid stardom? You'll find out sooner than you think! ABC will announce the cast of Dancing With the Stars on July 27, months before the premiere of the fall season. [THR]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I just want to know what the ratings would have been had DISH not dropped the channel. Breaking Bad deserves more viewers because it is only getting better. I have told so many people to watch it, not all of them are smart enough to listen, but the show has a growing fan base which is rare for a series so late in its run.
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See, that's something, isn't it?



USA has been advertising the hell out of Political Animals, and it gets horrible ratings.



USA has hardly been advertising the new season of Burn Notice, and it becomes one of their best performing shows this summer.



Great job, USA. Competing with True Blood and Breaking Bad.
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Wow, the Last Ship sounds like that new ABC mid-season show I forget the name of. I'm surprised they'd go through with both shows at the same time. People are definitely going to mix the two up. Well, to be fair, it'll probably take a while for the Last Ship to come out.
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I think one of the reasons Breaking Bad is getting more popular is it gets better with age. It seems like they came into the series with an end game in mind and not just to write shows to write shows until we grew tired of it.
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I think one of the reasons Breaking Bad is getting more popular is it gets better with age. It seems like they came into the series with an end game in mind and not just to write shows to write shows until we grew tired of it.
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hated Political Animals, hated Newsroom



they should have waited until after the election...if Obama loses, anybody left of Gengis Kahn will need some tv tender love and care...like West Wing gave us during the reign of the worst administration in U.S. history.



Then, I might be open to some melodramatic fantasy world were good people do good things and bad people at least make sense when they're arguing about something. But right now there is too much reality hitting us in the face on a daily basis to get excited by this schlock.
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I love The Newsroom, but I'll agree Political Animals left something to be desired. Oh, and please, don't get up on your high horse. Labeling something as melodramatic or implying that it's pretentious just brings out your own feelings of superiority. Just so you know.



I'll admit Political Animals is melodramatic as it plays like a soap opera, but using the word to label Newsroom which isn't very open-ended or have thousands of characters like True Blood (nor do all of them have "issues") is just plain wrong, sir. Use the words right or don't use them at all.



I mean even though I might not agree with every argument on the show, I at least try to understand it to see where they are coming from. It makes a heck of a lot of difference. Just brushing it off as another one of *those* shows is very childish, in my honest opinion.
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you made me laugh...thank you :)
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I saw the premiere to "Political Animals" and really liked it. But I think that USA made a mistake scheduling it on Sunday nights. They schedule a lot of stuff at 10 PM, so I don't think that was the problem. I just think that in the cable summer competition a LOT of shows schedule for Sunday nights and the people who would watch this show are watching those other shows.
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Pretty impressive numbers considering AMC lost millions of DISH subscribers. Oh yeah, Nielsen doesn't take things like that into account. They sample 25,000 homes and extrapolate 2.9 million viewers based on that ridiculously limited sample size (0.02% of all US households -- that's right, ZERO point ZERO TWO percent). It's a completely bogus number based on a system that hasn't changed since it's inception in the 50's. Sad that a better system hasn't come along and replaced this crooked, fossilized dinosaur of a sham.
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do Breaking Bad's rating account for the lack of DISH subscribers, or was that resolved?



I barely saw any promotion for Political Animals, but I watch USA programming thru On Demand. It seem like a show that could have been developed for NBC since they also own USA. That, or maybe NBC should re-air the pilot in a cross promotional sense, as they put their shows on USA or Bravo.



Last Ship sounds like that new show with the submarine starring Andre Braugher, Last Resort - before the nuclear bomb being used, of course, if at all. I wonder if Resort people read the Ship book?
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I can account for 14 out of the 2.9 million. Myself and 13 friends and family who got tired of me raving about Breaking Bad and started watching it just to shut me up.



Now they're all on Team Heisenberg.
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You did a good thing, bro. I have a whole list of shows to recommend to people who say "There is nothing good on TV" We gotta prove those people wrong and we gotta prove them fast. We have great/awesome multi cam sitcoms, single cam sitcoms, sci-fi shows, fantasy shows, dramedys, family dramas, action dramas, intense dramas, period dramas, teen dramas, cartoons, british/canadian shows. I think there is more choice (and variety) now than there was ever before. People should be happy...People should be very happy. Guys...girls.....TV is awesome these days. More awesome than movies....Yep. I'd rather pay $60 a month and see good stuff on TV than spend $7-$10 on a movie every Friday night that has more chance of sucking...and you know what. Seasons>Sequels
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Yep. Sopranos is more intelligent than any mob movie, Firefly's main plot is better than than that any Sci Fi movie, Game of Thrones is more captivating and visually stunning than any fantasy movie, Homeland is better written than any investigation thrillers, and Breaking Bad is just plain better than any movie, period.
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I agree 100%. There are so many shows to enjoy, from intellectual shows to exciting shows, and even some guilty pleasures that can be fun to watch in their own way. In fact, there are so many choices that it can be hard to keep up with all of them, and I often have to put off some great looking shows until later on. But this show is at the very top of the shows I'm watching. Unfortunately, my dad hasn't actually seen this show, but that's something I plan to fix very soon. I will definitely get him to watch this starting from the beginning on Netflix, and based on his taste in shows, I'm certain he'll enjoy it. Meanwhile, I'll be keeping up with the current season and loving every moment of it.
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