On cable this may be remembered as the year of AMC.
The network had two of the year’s most-watched scripted series, “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad,” and it saw huge gains in viewership for both.
“Bad’s” rise was especially notable. It’s a program that drew minimal ratings in its initial seasons.
But as people caught up with the show on Netflix and began tuning into it live, the show built into a sensation. Its series finale this fall drew 10.3 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.
“Dead,” meanwhile, averaged 16.16 million viewers per episode, a new cable record for a scripted series and the No. 1 entertainment show on cable for 2013.
AMC vaulted into the top 10 among adults 18-49 in primetime, where “Dead” also ranked first for the year, with viewership for the network surging 30 percent over last year in the demo.
Here are some of the other significant numbers on cable this past year, from the top shows and networks to how the medium stacked up against broadcast:
1.08 million – viewers 18-49 averaged by TBS in primetime, the No. 1 cable network
565,000 – viewers 18-34 averaged by TBS in primetime, the No. 1 cable network
521,000 – average tweets per episode for “Breaking Bad,” the best for any broadcast or cable series
45 – percent decline year to year for Al Jazeera America, which took over for Current in August
6,000 – adults 18-49 averaged by RFD in primetime, 101st out of 101 basic cable networks
70 – cable’s share of adults 18-49 TV viewing in 2013, a new high
30 – broadcast’s share of adults 18-49 TV viewing in 2013, a new low
1 – percent decline in basic cable ratings among 18-49s in 2013
18.4 – cumulative adults 18-49 rating for 101 cable networks
8.0 – cumulative adults 18-49 rating for Big Four broadcast networks
17.2 – hours the average person spent viewing ad-supported cable TV per week in 2013
7.5 – hours the average person spent viewing broadcast TV per week in 2013
9.2 – hours the average person spent viewing other TV per week in 2013 (i.e., pay cable, public television, other broadcast networks)
13.37 million – average viewers for “Duck Dynasty,” cable’s top reality show
9.33 million – average adults 25-54 viewership for “The Walking Dead”
4 – History shows in the top 15 among 25-54s, the most for any network (“The Bible,” “Vikings,” “Pawn Stars,” “Swamp People”)
0 – shows in the top 10 among total viewers for USA, the top network in total viewers in primetime in 2013
14 – ranking for E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” among 18-49s
8 – rank for MTV’s top show among 18-49s, “Teen Mom”
3 – of the three major cable news networks that saw primetime ratings declines this year compared to last year, when there was a presidential election
13 – percentage Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” has improved its timeslot among 25-54s since taking over the 9 p.m. slot in October
2.78 million – total viewers averaged by “The O’Reilly Factor” this year, the best for any cable news program
Note: All numbers are based on Nielsen data or Nielsen data analyzed by Turner Networks
Source: Media Life Magazine, 12/18/13