FILE – This Sept. 22, 2013 file photo shows the cast of “Breaking Bad,” from left, Bob Odenkirk, Betsy Brandt, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris and Bryan Cranston, right, congratulating creator Vince Gilligan, second right, after he accepted the award for outstanding drama series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. The Nielsen company said that on the same night that “Breaking [auth] Bad” won an Emmy Award for best drama, the penultimate episode of that AMC series set a viewership record. An estimated 6.6 million people watched “Breaking Bad” on Sunday, which was airing the same time the cast got its award. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — Television viewers tuned in to see TV stars celebrating each other but didn’t ignore what else the medium had to offer.
The Nielsen ratings company said that on the night that “Breaking Bad” won an Emmy Award for best drama, the penultimate episode of the AMC series set a viewership record. An estimated 6.6 million people on Sunday watched “Breaking Bad,” which was airing when the cast got its award.
The series finale is scheduled for next Sunday.
The 3.3 million people who watched the series finale of “Dexter” opposite the Emmys represented not only the series high for the serial killer drama but the biggest audience that Showtime has ever gotten for one of its original series.
Despite the competition, the Emmy Awards were seen by an average of 17.6 million viewers, an increase of more than 4 million over the show’s audience last year. The CBS telecast was undoubtedly helped by airing directly after pro football in the East and the Midwest.
The “Devious Maids” season finale Sunday on Lifetime drew 3 million viewers, a series best, the channel said. The drama, from “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry, has been renewed for a second year.
Nielsen’s lists of the top programs and network averages weren’t immediately unavailable Tuesday due to what the company said were processing delays. It was unclear when they would be released.
AP Television Writer Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.