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"Breaking Bad" Series Finale Breaks Ratings and Piracy Records

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The groundbreaking AMC series Breaking Bad finished up its brilliant five-season run last night, and the numbers seem to indicate the show's reputation as a bona fide cultural phenomenon. 10.3 million viewers tuned in to see how the Walter White saga concluded, which is impressive in its own right, but it's downright staggering in comparison to the ratings for the previous season finale, which delivered only 1.9 million sets of eyeballs. Last night's episode was the most-watched series finale in the history of basic cable, and it also inspired those viewers to take to social media in record numbers. The finale drew 1.24 million Tweets (with an activity peak measuring an astounding 22,373 Tweets per minute as the show first began), while Facebook reports that three million users generated 5.5 million "interactions." Additionally, the episode was downloaded by over 500,000 people in the first 12 hours of its airing, with 18% of the downloads originating from Australia. According to TorrentFreak, the series is contention to become the year's most pirated TV show. If you still haven't delved into the world of Breaking Bad, the numbers should indicate you're missing out on a national conversation on a grand scale. Get started before the spoilers become unavoidable.