As expected, Breaking Bad went out on an extremely high note last night—and shattered ratings records while it was at it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated series finale of Breaking Bad last night, "Felina," scored a whopping 10.3 million viewers total, which is over 3.5 million more viewers than last week's penultimate episode, "Granite Slate," pulled in.
For some context: The premiere episode of Breaking Bad only hit 1.41 million viewers, and last year's mid-season finale, which aired in September 2012, pulled in 2.78 million viewers. This number was doubled when the mid-season premiere aired last month and pulled in 5.92 million viewers, likely influenced by the massive amount of promotion that AMC rolled out for the "final eight episodes," as well as the entire series becoming available on Netflix for streaming. These numbers only continued to rise as the final episodes continued to air.
And to think, AMC considered cutting the entire fifth season down to "only six to eight episodes" just two years ago.
As for the ratings breakdown—there were 10.3 million viewers who tuned in to watch Walter White's story come to an end last night, and 6.7 million of them were in the advertiser-covered 18-49 age group. Also worth noting, according to Variety, the series finale was illegally downloaded about 500,000 times within 12 hours after it first aired, making it the most pirated episode of Breaking Bad ever.
As previously reported, the episode also pulled in a huge social media response, with over 5.5 Facebook interactions mentioning the show last night as it aired.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]