September 04, 2012 1:46pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Breaking Bad' Mid-Season Finale Ratings Fall Just Shy of Recent Record
It's not a record, but it's still good news for AMC's Breaking Bad.
The drama, ending the first half of its final season, brought in 2.8 million viewers on Sunday night. That's 200,000 shy of the previous week's episode, the series most-watched ever.
Up 47 percent over the fourth season finale, Breaking Bad was also on par with its 2.9 million summer opener. Following that episode, the series did drop 20 percent total viewers before ultimately regaining most of the haul after the Olympics. (Season five's lowest-rated episode -- 2.2 million viewers -- still eclipses all but one episode from the first four seasons of the series.)
In the targeted adults 18-49 demographic, Breaking Bad was up 37 percent from the last finale with 1.7 million adults 18-49. That's also shy of last week's record 1.85 million in the younger demographic.
Season to season, the series is up 39 percent in average viewership with 2.6 million viewers and 56 percent with adults 18-49 (1.6 million).
Breaking Bad will return for eight final episodes in 2013.