'Breaking Bad' Finale Delivers 2.8 Million Viewers, Growing 47 Percent Over Season 4 Finale

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

September 4th, 2012

via press release:






UP 49% FOR ADULTS 25-54



New York – September 4, 2012 – Sunday night’s episode of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” delivered 2.8 million viewers pushing it up 47% over season four’s finale, marking exceptional growth for a fifth season of a cable drama series. Additionally, Sunday’s final episode of 2012 was up 57% in household rating, 37% for adults 18-49 and 34% in adults 25-54 when compared to the season four finale of the series. Sunday’s episode concluded the first half of season five, with the final 8 episodes of the Emmy® Award-winning drama kicking off next summer.


Key Nielsen Highlights for “Breaking Bad’s” final episode of 2012 at 10pm:


  • 10pm airing – 2.2 HH rating: 57% over season four finale
  • 10pm airing – 2.8 million viewers: 47% vs. season four finale
  • 10pm airing – 1.7 million adults 18-49: 37% vs. season four finale
  • 10pm airing – 1.5 million adults 25-54: 34% vs. season four finale



Key Nielsen Highlights for “Breaking Bad’s” first 8 episodes of season five:


  • 2.1 HH rating: 44% over season four series average
  • 2.6 million viewers: 39% vs. season four series average
  • 1.6 million adults 18-49: 56% over season four series average
  • 1.6 million adults 25-54: 49% vs. season four series average


"Congratulations to everyone involved in Sunday's great success and for delivering episode after episode of television that is nothing short of remarkable. 'Breaking Bad' began 5 years ago with a pilot that was like nothing we had ever seen on television,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. “That 'Breaking Bad' continues to deliver at such a remarkable level creatively, now over 50 episodes later, is a rare accomplishment that begins with Vince Gilligan and the torch is carried by every member of the team on both sides of the camera. We can't wait to share the final eight episodes with our audience.”


Source: The Nielsen Company, Live SD Data. Breaking Bad Season 5 (8 Ep). 7/15-9/2/12.


AMC is carried on every major television provider in the country except Dish.



Created by acclaimed writer, producer and director Vince Gilligan and produced by Sony Pictures Television, "Breaking Bad" follows the story of a desperate man who turns to a life of crime to secure his family’s financial future. The critically acclaimed series that The Hollywood Reporter called “one of the greatest dramas in TV history," has garnered six Primetime Emmy® Award wins and a Peabody, and been named to the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the “Top 10 Programs of the Year” (2008, 2010, 2011). This year, the series is nominated for 13 Primetime Emmys including: Outstanding Drama Series; Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Bryan Cranston; Outstanding Supporting Actor for Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito; Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Anna Gunn and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for Vince Gilligan; among others.


“Breaking Bad” stars three-time Emmy® Award winner Bryan Cranston; Emmy® winner Aaron Paul; Anna Gunn; Dean Norris; Betsy Brandt; RJ Mitte; Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.


About AMC

AMC reigns as the only cable network in history to ever win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row. Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, the AMC experience is an uncompromising celebration of great stories. AMC's original stories include “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead” and “Hell on Wheels.” AMC further demonstrates its commitment to the art of storytelling with its slate of unscripted original series, as well as curated movie franchises like AMC’s Can’t Get Enough and AMC’s Crazy About. AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Story Matters HereSM.

  • William

    Awesome numbers.

    I wonder if they’ll entertain dragging it out another season. Hard to do given the season finale but these writers are so good, I’m sure they could find a way.

  • ix

    What does this translate into for an 18-49 rating?

  • Doug

    Like a 1.3, which is in line with the rest of the season.

    @William – are you kidding? The purpose of the final WAS to set up the last 8. We’ve always expected WW’s downfall, and that’s what we’re going to get. There’s no way that it won’t be entertaining.

  • Kat

    Great numbers. I love this show so much.

  • David

    How is it up 37% in the 18-49 and inline with the rest of the season? That is a pretty big jump for the show and the release looks like it is 1.7, unless they are counting something else too.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman
  • Alienware

    Was hoping for a series high, guess the holiday hurt more than I thought it would.

  • Terry

    I wonder if AMC will give them some room to work if the writers need it – like an extended premiere or finale, 30-min to an hour longer

  • Concerned Citizen

    Jeez, even in a press release AMC needs to attack Dish.

  • Stacy

    Not bad considering the hoiliday. I wish we could at least gotten two 10 episode seasons. 8 episodes just didn’t seem like enough and the story felt rushed in parts.

  • MattR

    @Concerned Citizen – Do you really consider that an attack?

  • joss

    1.3 thats not bad at all but is down from last week

  • tv#1

    So fans of Breaking Bad now have to wait a year to see the conclusion of the series? Why? I know it has been a huge deal for AMC, but why stretch out one season this long? It doesn’t make much sense to me.

  • Chris

    So much for the thought that the Dish dispute would cripple the show’s ratings. Note to AMC viewers: if you have a relative who lives nearby and subscribes to Dish, please invite that person into your home so that that person won’t miss the great programming AMC has to offer. Luckily I don’t know anyone that has Dish…

  • CCV


    I’m sick and tired of hearing this. NO. They wouldn’t even bother. “DRAG IT OUT”…you realize when a show is dragged out, that’s a BAD thing. The show’s ending is planned, and has been planned for a long time.

    Shows should not be kept on the air simply because of commercial success. A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A story has no meaning whatsoever without an ending, even if that ending is ambiguous or open-ended (no pun intended). All the greatest shows of the past ten or fifteen years (arguably the greatest shows of all time) that weren’t cancelled prematurely ended at their logical conclusions. What else could The Wire have done? Or Six Feet Under? Even Arrested Development, despite being cancelled, was pretty much concluded as far as its story was concerned. The David Simons, Vince Gilligans, and Matthew Weiners of the tv world have said they always envisioned an ending to their shows, that they needed to tell their stories and that was all. Louis CK said he isn’t going to do Louie forever, and that’s good. We’ll get another couple seasons or so, and it will always be great. Good things must end, and THAT is a good thing.

  • nicole

    What’s funny to me is how viewers only up to the age of 54 matter according to this, and yet the star of the show is 56. heh.

  • Steve

    Dish spent months calling AMC shows like Breaking Bad as “extraneous programming” on their Facebook page, trying to justify dropping the network. So I’m good with AMC taking as many shots at them as they can. I dropped Dish after 15 years as a customer the week before BB came back.

    Dish has acted like a bunch of corporate jerks in this whole dispute. Now it’ll be great to see them lose in the court case beginning this month.

  • CCBaxter

    @tv#1-it has to do with economics. Remember when Mad Men got into a huge salary fight with AMC last year? So now AMC has to pay for that, Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. All hugely popular and all expensive, so they don’t go on all at once. This year, Mad Men Mar-June, Breaking Bad, July-Sept, Walking dead kicks off in Oct for 16 weeks. It’s actully brilliant.

  • PapaGregg

    The only good thing that AMC has to offer is, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men, Hell On Wheels, not so much.All of there other shows have no ratings.And try to watch a movie on AMC, they are cut up so bad , that the plot is destroyed.As for Dish losing the network, “no big deal”, smart viewer’s like my self have way’s of watching “BREAKING BAD”, and “MAD MEN” minutes after they air on line.AMC can kiss my nealson rating BUTT.I would never cancel DISH, unless they canceled the fantastic network,”TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES”, they might lose me if that would happen.

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