Amid a competitive Sunday night, HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” premiered its fourth season slightly down from last season’s opener, while AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” which also aired Sunday night, fell short of its own premiere numbers last month, but outdrew “Boardwalk” by a substantial amount.
The initial 9 p.m. airing of the HBO drama, which stars Steve Buscemi as bootlegger Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, drew 2.4 million total viewers — off from the 2.9 million that the Season 3 premiere grabbed last year.
Meanwhile, the AMC meth drama “Breaking Bad,” which also aired at 9 p.m., posted 5,1 million total viewers. That was off slightly from the 5.9 million that the August season premiere pulled. (Granted, the premiere of “Breaking Bad” last month pretty much doubled the series’ previous record.)
In the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers, Sunday’s “Breaking Bad” drew 3.28 million.
While the “Boardwalk” premiere was down from last season’s opener, it was above last season’s average of 2.3 million total viewers.
Across two airings, “Boardwalk Empire” had 3.2 million total viewers, compared with the 4.5 million that last season’s premiere drew across three airings.