'Breaking Bad' Draws Record 2.9 Million Viewers

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Viewers tuned into the season five premiere of AMC's Breaking Bad in record numbers Sunday, with the series garnering nearly 3 million viewers.

The series, starring Emmy Award winning actor Bryan Cranston, averaged 2.9 million viewers in its July 15 season five debut, an increase of 14% comapred to last season's premiere, according to network officials. The series also generated a 34% increase among adults 18-49 viewers and a 28% increase within the adult 25-54 demo.

Overall Breaking Bad's season five debut delivered 3.5 million viewers with the 10 p.m. premiere and 11:30 p.m. encore showings, said network officials.

"From day one, Breaking Bad has been a passion project for all of us at AMC," said Charlie Collier, AMC's president in a statement. "This show has helped define what our brand stands for in terms of supporting quality storytelling and creative risk-taking. Working with these terrifically creative people on such outstanding material has been a joy-filled ride. I'm so pleased to share this success with the entire Breaking Bad team."