News Briefs: Breaking Bad Returns to Series-Best Ratings

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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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