This article is from the archive of our partner .

The ratings for the much buzzed-about Breaking Bad series finale are in, and holy moly did a lot of people watch it.

A whopping 10.3 million people tuned into last night's broadcast, a gargantuan number for cable and even a great number for a regular network these days. Here's Entertainment Weekly articulating what a big deal this is:

The fourth season finale delivered only 1.9 million viewers. And at the time, that rating was actually considered good news. Because that was up 23 percent from season three. So two years and only 16 episodes later (since the fifth season was split into two runs of eight episodes each), Breaking Bad viewership has skyrocketed an astounding 442 percent.

So that's pretty crazy, and quite a testament to the power of word-of-mouth and, of course, Netflix. The streaming service has been widely credited with helping the show flourish, as people finally relented to their annoying friends and said, "OK, OK, I'll watch it. It's on Netflix I think. Just please stop talking about it." Then they became one of the annoying friends and so on and so on until we arrived at this huge number. What a bittersweet thing for AMC. Their critically beloved show is finally a mega hit, but now it's over. Ah well.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to