The penultimate episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad drew a network record 6.5 million viewers, leading a plethora of strong cable network viewership performances this past Sunday night.
Up against strong competition from CBS’ Emmy Awards telecast and NBC’s Chicago Bears-Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday Night Football game, Breaking Bad was one of several shows that set performance records for their respective networks. The finale of Showtime’s long-running series Dexter averaged a network record 2.8 million viewers for its 9 p.m. premiere, while drama series Ray Donovan set a network record for a freshman series, averaging 1.4 million viewers in its season-ending episode, according to the network.
Lifetime’s Devious Maids drew a series high 3.0 million viewers for its season one finale Sunday. The series increased its audience by 50% over the network’s June 23 premiere and reached season highs among adult 18-49 viewers (1.4 million) and female 18-49 viewers (1.2 million), according to the network.
E!’s Live from the Red Carpet: 2013 Emmy Awards drew 1.5 million viewers, its most watched telecast for the event since 2006, according to network officials.
Overall ESPN was the most watched network for the week of Sept. 16 to Sept. 22 on the strength of its Sept. 16 Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals Monday Night Football telecast, which drew an industry high 14 million viewers. The sports network averaged 3.3 million viewers during the week, besting USA Network’s 2.2 million watchers and Disney Channel’s 2.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen. TBS (1.9 million viewers) and History (1.6 million) rounded out the top five most watched networks for the week.
Disney and Nickelodeon tied for the top spot on a 24-hour basis, each averaging 1.4 million viewers.
Most Watched Shows During the Week of Sept. 16 to Sept. 22
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: STEELERS-BENGALS
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: CHIEFS-EAGLES
SONS OF ANARCHY