Tuned In

Corporate Press Release Theater: Breaking Good

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AMC announces a second-season pickup for Breaking Bad—yay!—giving the dark dramedy which had to cut its first season short because of the strike—boo!—a chance to complete a full season and do it right. Quotes from the release follow:

New York, NY – May 7, 2008 – AMC announced today the renewal of its latest original series, Breaking Bad, for a second season of 13 episodes. The renewal expands on AMC’s commitment to bring viewers cinematic original programming that complements and is supported by the network’s vast library of iconic movies. From acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan (X-Files) and Sony Pictures Television, Breaking Bad follows the story of a desperate man who turns to a life of crime to secure his family’s financial security. Season One of Breaking Bad premiered on AMC Sunday nights this past January.

[Hortatory corporate quotes redacted as per usual.]

To date, Breaking Bad has reached approximately 20 million total viewers and more than 14 million households on AMC¹. Overall, the series garnered a notable .90 HH rating and delivered 825,000 homes, increasing the network’s 2007 primetime average by +4% and +5%, respectively.

While those aren’t barnburner numbers, they’re not actually much lower than what Mad Men was drawing (in the ballpark of a million, IIRC). Also, this is AMC, so adjust the bar for success accordingly:

Among the coveted 25-54 demo, all seven premiere episodes of Breaking Bad performed well: +36% stronger in both A25-54 (641,000) and M25-54 (379,000) viewers versus AMC’s 2007 primetime performance.

Breaking Bad had immense appeal among Men and Adults 18-34. Delivery of M18-34 tripled AMC’s 2007 primetime average by +116% and delivery among A18-34 increased by +86%.

More young people watched a tense, moving drama about mortality and the drug trade than reruns of ’30s screwball comedies, or whatever other flicks AMC was airing before it started making original series? I’m shocked.