LOS ANGELES, Sept 30 (Reuters) - AMC's gritty drug drama"Breaking Bad" drew its biggest audience for the series finaleon Sunday, as 10.3 million viewers tuned in to see anti-heroWalter White meet a dark and fitting end.
According to Nielsen data provided by AMC on Monday, the75-minute finale episode entitled "Felina" delivered a seriesrecord in viewership as fans saw chemistry teacher turned drugkingpin Walt tie up the loose ends of his crumbling drug empireand die just as the police finally catch up with him.
The 18-49 age group coveted by advertisers drew 6.7 millionviewers, up 300 percent from last year's "Breaking Bad" seasonfinale, reflecting the significant growth in the show's audienceover the past year.
AMC, owned by AMC Networks Inc, split the fifth andfinal season of the Vince Gilligan-created series into twoparts, with the first half airing in 2012, and the second in2013.
The second half, which began airing in August, drew anaverage of 5.2 million viewers to see the conclusion of Walt'ssaga, more than double last year's audience for the show,according to AMC.
"It all starts with Vince Gilligan who really only everasked for one thing - the opportunity to end the show on his ownterms. That is exactly what Vince did last night and, as always,brilliantly so," Charlie Collier, AMC president, said in astatement.
"Breaking Bad" became a hot topic online on Sunday, asviewers discussed Walt's ending. The fifth season has garneredmore than 23 million mentions on Facebook since August, and 3million people posted about the finale on Sunday, according todata from Facebook.
On Twitter, hashtags such as #GoodbyeBreakingBad becametrending topics throughout the day, with 1.24 million tweetsgenerated during the live broadcast of the finale, according toAMC.
- Vince Gilligan