BREAKING BAD Season Five Mid-Season Finale Garners 2.8 Million Viewers

The Emmy Award winning crime drama stars Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks. Created and executive produced by Vince Gilligan, the show returns to AMC next year to conclude its final season.

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Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) stars in this drama focused on a mid-life crisis gone bad for an underachieving high school chemistry teacher who becomes a drug dealer after discovering he has lung cancer. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to gain financial security for his family, Walter White joins forces with an old student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), in a quest that follows their entry into a dangerous world of drugs and crime.

Sunday night's episode of AMC's "Breaking Bad" delivered 2.8 million viewers pushing it up 47% over season four's finale, marking exceptional growth for a fifth season of a cable drama series. Additionally, Sunday's final episode of 2012 was up 57% in household rating, 37% for adults 18-49 and 34% in adults 25-54 when compared to the season four finale of the series. Sunday's episode concluded the first half of season five, with the final 8 episodes of the Emmy(R) Award-winning drama kicking off next summer.

Key Nielsen Highlights for "Breaking Bad's" final episode of 2012 at 10pm:

-- 10pm airing -- 2.2 HH rating: 57% over season four finale
-- 10pm airing -- 2.8 million viewers: 47% vs. season four finale
-- 10pm airing -- 1.7 million adults 18-49: 37% vs. season four finale
-- 10pm airing -- 1.5 million adults 25-54: 34% vs. season four finale

Key Nielsen Highlights for "Breaking Bad's" first 8 episodes of seasonfive:

-- 2.1 HH rating: 44% over season four series average
-- 2.6 million viewers: 39% vs. season four series average
-- 1.6 million adults 18-49: 56% over season four series average
-- 1.6 million adults 25-54: 49% vs. season four series average

"Congratulations to everyone involved in Sunday's great success and for delivering episode after episode of television that is nothing short of remarkable. 'Breaking Bad' began 5 years ago with a pilot that was like nothing we had ever seen on television," said Charlie Collier, AMC's president. "That 'Breaking Bad' continues to deliver at such a remarkable level creatively, now over 50 episodes later, is a rare accomplishment that begins with Vince Gilligan and the torch is carried by every member of the team on both sides of the camera. We can't wait to share the final eight episodes with our audience."

AMC is carried on every major television provider in the country except Dish.

Created by Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks. The fifth and final season of the critically acclaimed drama series airs Sunday nights at 10/9c exclusively on AMC