‘Breaking Bad’ Logs Record 10.3 Million Viewers

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AMC says Sunday’s “Breaking Bad” finale seized a record-breaking number of viewers for the series.

The concluding episode was seen by 10.3 million viewers. That was three times the audience for the midseason finale airing a year ago.

The network says an expanded one-hour version of its “Talking Bad” discussion after-show delivered 4.4 million viewers.

The drama’s popularity has soared during its five-season run, while it reaped acclaim and awards. At last week’s Emmy Awards it collected a best-drama-series trophy and a supporting-actress statuette for Anna Gunn, who played the wife of teacher-turned-drug-lord Walter White opposite series star Bryan Cranston.

The series’ previous record was set last Sunday, when 6.6 million viewers tuned at the same time as the Emmys.

In the finale, Walter White’s remote-controlled machine gun lays waste to the neo-Nazi’s who stole his money and his meth lab. Walt saves Jesse from the machine gun fire that rips through the neo-Nazi compound where Jesse was held hostage and forced to cook meth.

White was a high school chemistry teacher who turned to cooking meth after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Earlier in the show, Walt admitted to his wife he cooked meth because he was good at it and it made him feel alive.

In the last bit of dialogue, Bryan Cranston’s character tells his double-dealing partner Lydia she’s doomed too, because he poisoned the sweetener she put in her tea. In the end, it’s a bullet not cancer that kills Walter White — who dies in a meth lab with a smile on his face.

Meanwhile, Jesse Pinkman was on “Saturday Night Live.” In the season debut, Aaron Paul makes a cameo. During the cold open, he tells President Obama about a teacher in New Mexico with cancer, who needs Obamacare because he can’t afford treatment. Jesse tells the president his friend does what any of us would do — cook meth. (AP)

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Giants Miss Playoffs After Winning World Series

Buster Posey glanced toward Tim Lincecum’s locker and pondered what the Giants’ clubhouse might look like without The Freak or fellow starter Barry Zito, and only because the catcher got asked about it last week.

Posey says he hasn’t really put much thought into that.

He might not have to for long, either.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean plans to do all he can — and soon — to keep Lincecum around. The club already took care of its first order of business: Signing right fielder Hunter Pence to a $90 million, five-year contract. He played every game this season.

Two others with multiyear contracts struggled to stay on the field this season. (AP)

Are You Ready to End it All?

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Me neither. Sigh.

Miss Piggy Joins Kermit in Smithsonian Collection

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Miss Piggy is finally joining her love, Kermit the Frog, in the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Jim Henson’s Muppets.

Bert and Ernie will have a place in history, too.

Henson’s daughter, Cheryl Henson, donated more than 20 puppets and props Tuesday to the National Museum of American History. The donation included Miss Piggy and some of her co-stars from “The Muppet Show,” including Fozzie Bear, Scooter and the Swedish Chef.

Henson also donated a number of puppets from “Sesame Street,” including Bert and Ernie, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, and Count Von Count.

Many of the puppets are the first constructions of the characters.

The museum says Miss Piggy will go on display in March 2014 in the museum’s “American Stories” exhibit. (AP)

Emmy Telecast Wins Biggest Audience in 8 Years

The Nielsen Co. says Sunday’s Emmy broadcast scored a one-third audience spike over last year.

Prelimary ratings figures indicate the 3-hour telecast on CBS averaged 17.6 million viewers, compared to 13.3 million viewers for last year’s Emmy show on ABC.

It was the largest audience for the awards show since 2005.

But Sunday’s broadcast, which aired live across the country, was undoubtedly helped by the network’s very strong lead-in: NFL football.

Neil Patrick Harris was host of the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

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“Breaking Bad,” AMC’s soon-to-end tale of Walter White’s descent into depravity, won the Emmy Award for best drama.

The honor on Sunday was the first time “Breaking Bad” had won the award despite three previous nominations. Its star, Bryan Cranston, has won three best actor Emmys for his portrayal of White, the terminally ill chemistry teacher who turns into a drug lord to provide for his family. He lost this year but Anna Gunn, the actress who portrays his wife, won a supporting actress award.

The win came one week before AMC is due to air the series finale.

ABC’s madcap “Modern Family” won its fourth Emmy Award in a row as best comedy series.

The much-honored comedy and its ensemble cast had won the best comedy Emmy in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The series stars Ed O’Neill as a family patriarch, with his young wife portrayed by Sofia Vergara. They live near households led by two of O’Neill’s TV children.

Although getting the honor again as best series, none of the series’ stars won acting awards on Sunday.

Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for best actor in a drama series for his portrayal of a TV anchorman in “The Newsroom.” He says this award is better than the last one he won, an AARP award for best actor over 50 for ‘The Squid and The Whale.’ Daniels’ win contributed to HBO winning the most Emmys this year – a total of 27. CBS was next, with 16.

Her acceptance speech will go down as one of the shortest. When Merritt Wever stepped to the microphone after being named best supporting actress in a comedy for “Nurse Jackie,” she seemed at a loss for words. Her entire speech: “Thanks so much. Thank you so much. I gotta go. `Bye.” Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris called it the “best speech ever.” Backstage, Wever told reporters that she had a list of people to thank, but just blanked out. Asked what she thought about winning, she said she was “scared, because it was unexpected.” Wever said she’d deal with it in therapy next week.

Michael Douglas was honored as best actor for his portrayal of Liberace in “Behind the Candelabra,” besting his co-star Matt Damon. The film also captured a top trophy as best movie or miniseries. In accepting, Douglas said “This is a two-hander and Matt, you’re only as good as your other hand.” Then he got really racy, asking Damon, “You want the bottom or the top?” Douglas also thanked his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones. That got attention since he recently announced that the couple was taking time apart to work on their marriage. Zeta-Jones did not accompany her husband to the Emmys.

And – “Saturday Night Live” became the most-honored series ever with Don Roy King’s directing award at Sunday night’s Emmys. Its 40 Emmys over the years top previous record-holder “Frasier.” (AP)

Complete List of Emmy Winners
List of winners at Sunday’s 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

Drama Series: “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
Actor, Drama Series: Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom,” HBO.
Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, “Homeland,” Showtime.
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Bobby Cannavale, “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO.
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
Directing, Drama Series: David Fincher, “House of Cards,” Netflix.
Writing, Drama Series: Henry Bromell, “Homeland,” Showtime.
Comedy Series: “Modern Family,” ABC.
Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS.
Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO.
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Hale, “Veep,” HBO.
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie,” Showtime.
Directing, Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso, “Modern Family,” ABC.
Writing, Comedy Series: Tina Fey, Tracey Wigfield, “30 Rock,” NBC.
Miniseries or Movie: “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO.
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO.
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, “The Big C: Hereafter,” Showtime.
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: James Cromwell, “American Horror Story: Asylum,” FX.
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Ellen Burstyn, “Political Animals,” USA.
Directing, Miniseries or Movie: Steven Soderbergh, “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO.
Writing, Miniseries or Movie: Abi Morgan, “The Hour,” BBC America.
Reality-Competition Program: “The Voice,” NBC.
Variety Series: “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central.
Writing, Variety Series: “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central.
Directing, Variety Series: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC.
Choreography: Derek Hough, “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC.

Bob Newhart Finally Gets his Emmy Award

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Bob Newhart is the proud owner of an Emmy Award that took five decades to come his way.

The 84-year-old actor-comedian shed tears as he accepted the Emmy, his first ever, at Sunday’s creative arts Emmy awards in Los Angeles. The ceremony honors technical and other achievements in television.

Newhart was honored as best guest actor in a comedy series for his role on “The Big Bang Theory” as science teacher Professor Proton.

Newhart’s long TV history includes the 1970s “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Newhart” in the 1980s and “Bob” in the `90s. His first TV series was a variety show that aired in 1961.

The creative arts Emmys traditionally are held the week before the main Emmy ceremony. Neil Patrick Harris will host next Sunday’s ceremony on CBS. (AP)

6 Additions to ‘SNL,’ New ‘Update’ Co-Anchor Named

NBC says “Saturday Night Live” has added six featured players to its roster.

Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O’Brien, Noel Wells and Brooks Wheelan will join the troupe as “SNL” enters its 39th season on Sept. 28.

Meanwhile, “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels says longtime “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers will be joined at the “Update” desk by Cecily Strong. Last season was strong’s first as an “SNL” regular.

Michaels says the plan has Strong initially sharing the “Update” desk with Meyers, then going solo when he begins hosting “Late Night” in February. An alternative option might find Meyers remaining as “Update” co-anchor even after starting his “Late Night” duties.

Michaels’ remarks were first reported in The New York Times. (AP)