After “Breaking Bad” began its final batch of episodes with an audience more than double of last summer’s premiere, can we call him The One Who Rates?
Sunday night’s (mid)season premiere for the AMC drama drew 5.9 million viewers, by far the most in the show’s history, and up 102% over the first episode from last summer, according to AMC. 3.6 million of those viewers were aged 18-49, making it the second highest-rated show on cable in that demographic, after fellow AMC drama “The Walking Dead” (which also happens to be the highest-rated entertainment series in all of television in the demo).
At 10 p.m., the new “Low Winter Sun” premiered to ratings – 2.5 million viewers overall – that “Breaking Bad” would have killed for in its infancy, but that don’t seem quite as impressive in light of its lead-in. (And that number includes all the “Breaking Bad” viewers who stuck around for at least half an hour of “LWS” to see the previews for “BB” episode 2.)
And at 11 p.m., the first installment of the inexpensive, Chris Hardwick-hosted “Breaking Bad” discussion series “Talking Bad” averaged 1.2 million viewers.
The hype for “Blood Money” was higher than I’ve ever heard it for a “Breaking Bad” premiere, and clearly more people than ever before were interested. What I wonder is how many of the new viewers are people who caught up with the series in the year since we last had a new episode, and how many were brand-new folks who wanted to see what all the fuss was about. (And what, I wonder, did they make of trying to tread lightly into the story at this point?)