"Breaking Bad" returned with a bang on Sunday, July 15. Kicking off the show's fifth and final season, the episode titled "Live Free or Die" which aired at 10-11 P.M. delivered 2.9 million viewers (up 14% from last season's premiere). It marked the biggest audience ever for an episode of the series.
The rating also grew in the coveted 18-49 demo, showing a 34% increase from season 4 debut with 1.9 million audience. Among the adults 25-54 demo, it attracted 1.8 million viewers or increased 28% from last year. When the 11:30 P.M. EST encore is also counted, the show drew a total of 3.5 million viewers.
On the same night and the same hour, USA Network launched Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark's "Political Animals". Despite getting a lot of buzz before its premiere, the miniseries only lured in 2.6 million people, which is low for a USA show, especially considering that "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" reruns usually perform better than that.
In the 18-49 demo, the six-part political drama drew a small number of 675,000 viewers. The first episode of the Sigourney Weaver-starring show did better in the adults 25-54 demo, attracting 834,000 viewers.