In one of television’s most remarkable growth stories, critically-acclaimed but modestly-rated “Breaking Bad” emerged as a megahit for its final eight episodes.
While long-running cable series like “Dexter” were going out with a whimper, “Breaking Bad” was going out as a pop culture phenomenon. After setting a considerable ratings record for its season 5.2 premiere, “Bad” held strong for a few episodes and then began reaching even bigger heights for its conclusory stretch.
Two weeks ago, the third-to-last “Bad” set a record with 6.4 million viewers. Last week, the penultimate segment attracted 6.6 million.
This week’s finale was a completely different animal, however. AMC announced Monday that the conclusion to “Breaking Bad” drew 10.3 million viewers with an impressive 5.3 adults 18-49 rating.
Monstrous by all television standards, the rating bests that of every scripted television series but CBS’ comedy hit “The Big Bang Theory.”
“Talking Bad,” which followed the “BB” finale, garnered an impressive 4.4 million with a 2.3 in the 18-49 demo. Prior to this season, that type of viewership level would have been unattainable for “Breaking Bad” itself, let alone for the post-episode talk show.