We assumed that “Breaking Bad” was going to premiere to some pretty enormous numbers for AMC, but who would have guessed that the series would suddenly surpass “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood,” and surge to suddenly become the second-most-popular show on the network by a pretty wide margin. Heck, the demo rating here was so strong that any of the other broadcast networks would be lucky to have it.
“Blood Money” was watched by a total of 5.9 million viewers last night, which is easily a record that doubled anything that the show really put out before. Meanwhile, the show also scored a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which was enough to put the show at #1 for at least the time being. (We’re still waiting for the “True Blood” ratings,” but the show last week delivered a 2.2 for HBO.)
So why did “Breaking Bad” rise so much? It all comes down to a pair of things: Viewers actually flocking to a high-quality show versus something that does not make them want to brag about watching TV, and also giving them enough time to catch up on the show after the fact. It’s been almost a year since Bryan Cranston and company were on TV, and clearly having the show out on DVD and on Netflix helped so that new fans could catch up. There’s also a certain benefit in fans knowing that this was going to be the end long in advance; nobody imagined that they were making a longtime investment in the show, and it was thus easier to dive in.
While we’ll wait and see what happens on “Breaking Bad” next week (watch the promo here), there’s also some big news for “Low Winter Sun,” as this new entry in the AMC drama catalog got off to a great start with 2.5 million viewers watching. That’s not a huge figure by any means, but AMC never has great series premiere numbers save for “The Walking Dead.”
Finally, “Talking Bad” drew a total of 1.2 million viewers at 11:00 p.m., which is not bad considering that the show premiered after “Low Winter Sun,” and would have done better an hour earlier.