July 16, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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BREAKING BAD kicked off its 5th season in fine style for AMC last night, recording the show’s most-watched episode (2.9M viewers, up 14% from the Season 4 premiere), and what should be a 1.4 in the 18-49 demo, a whopping 34% year-to-year increase (2/3 of its viewers were under 50).  That means the show tied the highest rated broadcast series during its time period (Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition), and it’s particularly impressive because AMC is currently unavailable in 14M Dish Network households due to subscription fee disputes.

USA didn’t fare as well with its premiere of the political soap POLITICAL ANIMALS.  That much-vaunted series was watched by 2.6M viewers, which is OK, but it skewed extremely old, with only a 0.5 in the demo, meaning that just about 25% of its viewers were under 50.  That’s significantly lower than USA’s successful shows rate, and since this wasn’t cheap programming for USA, and unless the numbers turn around, the series may not have much of a future.

Adding insult to injury, even among the older viewers who were watching Political Animals, the show was beaten badly by A&E’s LONGMIRE, which set a record with 4.5M total viewers.

More numbers, including for TRUE BLOOD and THE NEWSROOM, should be available tomorrow.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."