'Breaking Bad' Returns With Series High 5.9 Million Viewers; 'Low Winter Sun' Debuts to 2.5 Million Viewers

Categories: 2-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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August 12th, 2013

Breaking Bad Blood Money

Your predictions were accurate. Assuming there are no further adjustments, the premiere earned a huge 2.8 adults 18-49 rating.

via press release:





  4.2 HH RATING  3.6 MILLION ADULTS 18-49 





New York, NY – August 12, 2013 AMC’s Breaking Bad returned last night with the first of its eight final episodes, delivering 5.9 million viewers, the most in series history and up 102% over the show’s season five premiere last summer. From 9pm – 10pm, the network earned a 4.2 HH rating delivering 3.3 million adults 25-54 and 3.6 million adults 18-49. Immediately following Breaking Bad, AMC premiered its newest dramatic series, Low Winter Sun, which got off to a strong start, attracting 2.5 million viewers. To close AMC’s first ever three-premiere night, the Breaking Bad after-show, Talking Bad – hosted by Chris Hardwick and featuring discussion and analysis of this iconic television series – debuted with 1.2 million viewers.

With 3.6 million viewers among adults 18-49, Breaking Bad is second only to AMC’s The Walking Dead in delivery to this key demographic, across all cable networks. With the success of these two shows, AMC is now home to cable’s top two dramas among adults 18-49.

On Saturday night, AMC’s Hell on Wheels returned with a two-hour season three premiere, delivering 2.5 million viewers, up 2% from the season two premiere and double AMC’s Saturday prime time average.

“We are so pleased and gratified by viewer response to a historic four-premiere weekend on AMC,” said AMC’s president and general manager, Charlie Collier. “For Breaking Bad to continue to deliver record-setting ratings in its fifth and final season is remarkable. Our new series, Low Winter Sun, is off to a strong start, and we have successfully launched another after-show in Talking Bad, which will super-serve Breaking Bad fans all the way through these final episodes. On Saturday, we also launched another night of original programming on AMC with Hell on Wheels, doubling our prime time average on Saturday nights, even before time shifting, and delivering the network’s highest Saturday night rating all year.”

The first of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad also became an event on Twitter, with 759,689 total show-related Tweets from nearly 400,000 unique users – approximately two Tweets per unique user. Aaron Paul’s (@aaronpaul_8) “It’s so close I can almost taste the meth #BreakingBad” Tweet at 7:23pm EST generated 25,175 retweets. Peak activity for the show on Twitter was at 9pm EST – 11,799 Tweets-per-minute and at the end of the show at 10pm – 7,859 Tweets-per-minute. Twitter data from SocialGuide.


Key Nielsen Highlights for last night’s return of Breaking Bad:

  • 9pm airing – 4.2 HH rating with 5.9 million viewers: +91%/+102% vs. season 5 premiere
  • 9pm airing – 3.6 million Adults 18-49:  +87% vs. season 5 premiere
  • 9pm airing – 3.3 million Adults 25-54: +81% vs. season 5 premiere

Key Nielsen Highlights for the series premiere of Low Winter Sun:

  • 10pm airing – 1.8 HH rating with 2.5 million viewers
  • 10pm airing – 1.4 million Adults 18-49
  • 10pm airing – 1.3 million Adults 25-54

Key Nielsen Highlights for the series premiere of Talking Bad:

  • 11pm airing – .94 HH rating with 1.2 million viewers
  • 11pm airing – 679,000 Adults 18-49
  • 11pm airing – 672,000 million Adults 25-54

 Source: Nielsen Fast Nationals, 8/11/13, L+SD

From acclaimed writer, producer, director Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad is produced by Sony Pictures Television with Mark Johnson (Gran Via) and Michelle MacLaren serving as executive producers. Breaking Bad first premiered on AMC in January 2008 and follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a milquetoast high school chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife, teenage son who has cerebral palsy and a new baby girl.  White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live.  With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to gain financial security for his family, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White’s releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild-mannered family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.

Breaking Bad has garnered seven 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, 2012). The explosive series that The Hollywood Reporter called “one of the greatest dramas in TV history," recently received 13 2013 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations. Breaking Bad stars three-time Emmy® Award-winner Bryan Cranston; two-time Emmy® winner Aaron Paul; Anna Gunn; Dean Norris; Betsy Brandt; RJ Mitte and Bob Odenkirk.

Low Winter Sun is a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred. Low Winter Sun begins with the murder of a cop by a fellow Detroit detective. Seemingly the perfect crime, in reality the murder activates forces that will forever alter the detective’s life, and pull him into the heart of the Detroit underworld. The series is a co-production between Endemol Studios and AMC Studios.  Chris Mundy (Criminal Minds, Cold Case) serves as writer, executive producer and showrunner, which stars Mark Strong (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, Zero Dark Thirty) and co-stars Lennie James (The Walking Dead, Jericho, Snatch). In addition to Mundy, Jeremy Gold, head of creative affairs for Endemol Studios, oversees the project with Greg Brenman, head of drama for Tiger Aspect.

Talking Bad is a weekly, half-hour live after-show and companion piece for its Emmy® Award-winning series, Breaking Bad. Hosted by Chris Hardwick, the series analyzes and examines every detail of Breaking Bad’s final eight episodes. Talking Bad features Hardwick spending time with fans, actors, producers and tv enthusiasts, recapping that most recent Breaking Bad episode, and taking questions and comments from viewers. Fans may continue to engage with the after-show following the on-air conclusion, online, at amc.com for more videos, weekly polls and photo galleries of the guests featured on the series. The series is produced by Michael Davies’ Embassy Row with Sony Pictures Television serving as the studio partner.

In Hell on Wheels, Cullen Bohannon leaves his vengeance-seeking behind and invests in the new American landscape ... the beginnings of big business, big religion, and the new role of Wall Street in the White House.  Bohannon must contend with racism, greed and murder as he single-mindedly leads the Union Pacific in its race across the country against the Central Pacific Railroad.  The high stakes corporate race, the environmental costs and degradation of the native peoples’ way of life are themes that resonate deeply in today’s America.

Hell on Wheels was developed by Endemol USA. The series is produced by leading independent studio, Entertainment One (eOne) and Nomadic Pictures. eOne’s Television CEO John Morayniss and EVP US scripted television Michael Rosenberg oversee production in partnership with co-producers Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes from Nomadic Pictures.

About AMC

Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, and boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history with The Walking Dead. AMC’s original drama series include Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Killing and Hell on Wheels. Its newest series, Low Winter Sun, premiered this summer.  AMC also explores authentic worlds with bold characters through its slate of unscripted original series like Comic Book Men, Small Town Security, Talking Dead, Talking Bad and Freakshow. 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: Something More.


  • Epic

    Excellent for the series, wow! Higher than I anticipated definitely.

    Curious to see the drop off half way through Low Winter Sun, once they finally went to the first commercial break 26 minutes into the show and showed next week’s BB preview. Wonder how many people were only watching the show for that.

  • João Lucas

    I guess AMC forget Game Of Thrones…GOT IT’S THE 2nd TV Cable SHOW

  • KJ Styles

    Glad to see the ratings jump for Breaking Bad. In my opinion it is the best show on TV and could go down as my favorite show of all time depending on how the final 7 episodes play out. I was shocked that they lead off with Hank figuring out that Walt was the mastermind last night instead of waiting until the last episode or two to do so, but awesome nonetheless.

  • Shepherd

    Finally the kind of numbers BB deserves. :)

    I still don’t understand why HoW was pushed to Saturday. Those are great numbers considering it was moved. Without 18-49 numbers, I’d guess that’s as good or better than early seasons of BB, I wish they would have more faith in the show. I know Sundays are crowded, but there are other week nights with nothing on AMC.

  • JacobYates

    Last year, Hell on Wheels carried over into the broadcast season which hurt its ratings for the last few episodes. By moving it to Saturday, it won’t face as stiff of competition from the broadcast channels in September and October, which is when it will finish airing this season.

    Hell on Wheels season 4 and LWS season 2 are pretty much locks with those numbers. With BB signing off for good and Mad Men leaving next year, they need to keep some solid performers around. Even the Killing might be renewed.

    Also, the fact that HOW did do good on Saturdays shows that cable can in fact expand their programming to that time period and do well.

  • Oliver


    So you’ve gone from restarting production to just re-editing it to expand it from eight episodes to a dozen?

    How could it possibly be a good idea to take the final eight episodes, which are already scripted out and filmed and expand it by ~50% at the last minute?

    It’s one thing if you have more good story than you planned and expand a finale from an hour to 90-minutes or a two-parter into a three-parter or something like that. What you’re suggesting is completely ridiculous and unreasonable.

    No, I mean restarting production, filming additional episodes and re-editing unaired episodes for continuity rather than throwing material out. It’s not hard concept to grasp.

    It won’t happen, largely because the actors have other obligations and Sony/AMC won’t think it’s worth the effort, but it’s hardly implausible.

  • redbirds

    Are you guys that lazy that you can’t just type Breaking Bad instead of “BB”? I can understand if the title of a show is long but this is just ridiculous.

  • AllOfHerTwist


    Breaking Bad
    Blue Bloods
    Big Brother
    Big Bang

    :-) ;-)

  • reallypeople


    The move to Saturday for HOW was partially due to the number of Westerns AMC already plan/planned to show on Saturday. The thought process was if you already have a captive, Western movie loving audience… why not capitalize on it? Also, traditionally, Saturdays have been kind of Westerns. I, also, think AMC was encouraged to give Saturdays a try after seeing the success BBC America has had there.

    Not to mention, by moving HOW to Saturdays, it gives LWS (which, like HOW, is an Endemol production) the greatest chance to survive. With a network that needs to add, not subtract, programming that’s important. Endemol isn’t going to complain about the move because they benefit either way (HOW vs. LWS after BB).

    And JacobYates is right, there is also less of a chance (really none, actually) of HOW’s viewership dropping later in its season due to increased competition. I also agree that LWS and HOW are locks for renewal. Especially since in its state of not having enough scripted programming, the Killing is still “in contention” for renewal.

    Regardless of its wisdom, there’s no denying that the move to Saturday worked in providing a viewership increase on a night where less people watch TV.

    I think the master plan for AMC now is to keep HOW on Saturdays and put Turn behind it to make it their “period TV show” night. (With the computer age drama pairing up with MM).

  • merrranga


    “It won’t happen, largely because the actors have other obligations and Sony/AMC won’t think it’s worth the effort, but it’s hardly implausible.”

    no, it is VERY implausible. it’s implausible, impossible, and utterly ridiculous.

    the words ‘bat crap crazy’ come to mind…

  • AllOfHerTwist

    They’ve been parading the stars around (especially Cranston) all over recently in an apparently effective exposure campaign.

  • Ultima

    No, I mean restarting production, filming additional episodes and re-editing unaired episodes for continuity rather than throwing material out. … it’s hardly implausible.

    You do understand that the finale airs in seven weeks, right? Depending on how fixed the run up to the ending is (assuming it hasn’t already started), these new episodes would need to be ready in just a few weeks. Do you seriously think it’s at all reasonable to restart production at the drop of a hat and put out quality episodes in that time frame?!

    It’s completely implausible and as mergggangas said “utterly ridiculous.”

    Just stop now before you make yourself look any worse…

  • AllOfHerTwist

    The picture of that chick in the Face Off pop-up ad to the right makes her look almost like Britta from Community.

  • stiller

    You have to wonder how much of Low Winter Sun’s viewership came from Breaking Bad viewers who watched it for half an hour waiting for a preview of next week’s episode.

  • James

    I wonder if this will get FX to rethink their way of only putting the most recent season of their shows on Netflix after the new season premieres instead of before so people can catch up.

  • Hugh

    Wow. Double last year.

    Now its one of the top 10 dramas on TV.

    Any chance of a surprise season 6?

  • davie

    talk about ending on a high note

  • stiller


    No chance at all. It’s been done, they’ve finished filming, the cast and crew have moved on. The story’s been told. It would be highly illogical and impossible to have a season 6, no matter how good the ratings.

  • Alan

    Typical American TV thinking. Gets great ratings and all of sudden now people are planning/wanting another season. This is why Two and Half Men is in season 11 and is neverending.

    Why can’t a good show just end? Full stop.

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    Impressive jump for Breaking Bad for sure, but AMC will not jump on reviving the finished series. The final episode of Talking Dead got a 2.6 rating and is a lot cheaper to produce.
    This does not make Breaking Bad a top 10 drama either, the 5th season is averaging now around 1.6 so these dramas all had a higher live average:

    The Walking Dead
    Grey’s Anatomy
    The Following
    Once Upon a Time
    NCIS: LA
    Person of Interest
    Criminal Minds

    (I’m not a hater. I liked the episode)

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