Broadcasters Ambushed By Hysteria Around ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale

It may be too much to say last night was the night cable overtook broadcast TV for good — as some media have claimed —  but it sure felt that way today. It’s not like broadcasters have never competed on Sunday against numbers like the 10.3 million Breaking Bad attracted in its series finale — HBO’s The Sopranos used to log those crowds on a weekly basis. But broadcasters definitely did not anticipate the media hysteria over the Breaking Bad wrapup, to which they had contributed mightily — most recently in the form of a big fat plug on NBC’s highly hyped Saturday Night Live season debut the very night before BB’s swan song. Breaking Badsteria first erupted one week earlier with the series’ Best Drama Emmy win. Sucks to be CBS, which aired the trophy show that launched AMC’s monster Breaking Bad marketing campaign that did so much to send CBS’ Premiere Week Sunday into double-digit declines in the ratings. (CBS didn’t suffer alone; ABC and Fox experienced same.) Between Breaking Bad‘s Emmy win and Sunday’s finale, AMC unspooled a weeklong full-run-of-series marathon while TV critics scattered role petals in its path. (After the finale aired, the critics got down to the serious business of arguing as to whether Bryan Cranston’s Walter White was TV’s ultimate winner or loser, an American hero or Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning — and if the show’s wrap meant the end, or the dawn of a bright new day, for the economy of Albuquerque, where the show was shot.)

Related: Walter White’s Odyssey Completed In ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale

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This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2013/09/breaking-bad-finale-broadcasters-hysteria-600143/