'Breaking Bad' sets a ratings record, beats 'Political Animals' debut

political-animals-ratings.jpgThe season premiere of "Breaking Bad" on Sunday (July 15) brought in the show's biggest audience ever, even with a portion of its potential audience unable to watch over their TVs.

The news was less good for "Political Animals." The USA miniseries starring Sigourney Weaver drew smaller numbers than the network's original shows usually do.

"Breaking Bad" delivered 2.9 million viewers for its season premiere, the biggest audience ever for an episode of the series. Sunday's show eclipses the previous record of 2.6 million for the Season 4 debut last year. "Live Free or Die" also posted gains of 34 percent among adults 18-49 (1.4 million to 1.9 million) and 28 percent in adults 25-54 (1.4 million to 1.8 million).

"Breaking Bad's" numbers came without any DISH network subscribers tuning in over the air, as AMC is currently blacked out on the satllite service. AMC offered a free live stream of the premiere to DISH customers, but those numbers aren't part of the 2.9 million measured by Nielsen.

"Political Animals," meanwhile, drew 2.6 million people in the same 10 o'clock timeslot, which is low for a USA show (even "NCIS" reruns on the channel often draw more viewers). Its adults 18-49 audience (675,000) is also smaller than usual for the network.

Both shows were trumped at 10 p.m. by A&E's "Longmire." The crime drama hit a series high Sunday with 4.5 million viewers, a 10-percent bump over last week.
Photo/Video credit: USA