AMC's Breaking Bad returned for a fifth season with 2.9 million viewers Sunday, a series high that's up from 2.6 million for last year's start.
The increase comes despite a feud with the Dish satellite service, which pulled AMC earlier this month, and follows the record turnout for March's return of the network's Mad Men, which drew 3.5 million.
Also at 10 p.m. ET/PT, A&E's Longmire earned 4.5 million viewers, a series high, with the seventh episode of the Western.
But the debut of USA's miniseries Political Animals was a ratings disappointment with 2.6 million, well below that network's typical fare. "We were looking for better numbers," says co-president Jeff Wachtel, "but we really believe in the show."