Breaking Bad set a ratings record with its midseason debut, more than doubling its previous series’ high.
Last summer’s fifth-season premiere held the record with 2.9 million viewers. Sunday’s episode, however, drew an impressive audience of 5.9 million. It was also the night’s highest-rated show in the 18-49 demographic.
Low Winter Sun—AMC’s newest series, which the network is touting as the next Breaking Bad—started its ten-episode run with an audience of 2.5 million. Though it lost over half its lead-in audience, the show’s debut still “compares favorably” to recent AMC pilots, including Breaking Bad and Mad Men (via Zap2it).
The preview for next week’s Breaking Bad was not shown until Low Winter Sun’s first commercial break, almost halfway through the program, which likely accounted for a percentage of the new show’s viewership. Many Twitter users expressed frustration that AMC had “blackmailed” them into watching Low Winter Sun: one stated, “I still didn’t like it and will never watch it again.” Still, the show earned its fair share of positive responses, including one person who described it as “beyond amazing…AMC has outdone themselves yet again!”
Meanwhile, AMC’s Hell on Wheels increased its viewership with a new timeslot. 2.5 million tuned in for the show’s third season premiere Saturday night, slightly greater than last year’s season two premiere.