Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
It’s difficult to imagine a more celebrated scenario than that AMC’s Breaking Bad will enjoy on Sunday night as it wraps up six seasons (or 5 ½, take your pick) and 62 brilliant episodes with a 75-minute, presumably cataclysmic finale. The gritty, dark, meth-laced drama is generating live viewer numbers exceeding 6 million, or roughly 500% greater than viewership for its maiden season in 2008. AMC was able to sell out its ad inventory for the final episode while reportedly asking between $300,000 and $400,000 for a 30-second spot. And the network has been running every episode of the series as a marathon this week leading into the climax. The TV Academy just last Sunday crowned it as television’s outstanding drama series while critics fall all over themselves in declaring Breaking Bad as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – shows in the medium’s history. Meanwhile, the series has become perhaps the definitive game-changing phenomenon in terms of binge-viewing on DVD and over Netflix, Amazon and iTunes and as a social media marvel over Twitter. Anyone who dares try to divulge an ill-timed spoiler has risked cyber wrath on a grand scale, if not outright physical harm.
Related: Emmys 2013: ‘Breaking Bad’ Triumphs On Night Of Upsets
And yet in the rush to venerate the show as a pop culture sensation throughout its final eight-episode campaign, it’s easy to forget that the series that’s earned stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn a combined six Emmy statuettes (half of them for Cranston) was in the beginning a cult diversion at best. Breaking Bad debuted in 2008 with an underwhelming 1.2 million total viewers and rarely exceeded 2 million through its first four seasons. The critics raved like they rarely rave, but mostly noted that this was the finest show no one was watching. In fact, during tense negotiation with the cost-conscious AMC in 2011, Sony Pictures TV reportedly sent out feelers to three other networks to see if they might be interested in picking up BB past season four. AMC apparently was interested in renewing it for only 6 or 8 episodes rather than what would become a total of 16 for the supersized, two-pronged fifth season. READ MORE »
It was obviously another huge night for AMC, which took home the most prestigious Emmy prize of Outstanding Drama Series for the 5th time in the last six years, this time for long overdue Breaking Bad. Inside the Governors Ball following the … Read More »
In the days leading up the series finale, it’s going to be all Breaking Bad almost all the time on AMC. I’ve learned that the cable channel is going to show every episode of the meth-drenched drama from Season 1 onward. The “Countdown To Finale,” as AMC has dubbed it, will start at 8 PM September 25 with the very first episode from January 20, 2008, and goes straight through to the end of Season 4 late on Friday, September 27. The marathon picks up again with the current Season 5 at 11 PM September 28 and goes through the night and day up to the 75-minute series finale at 9 PM September 29. AMC’s freshman Low Winter Sun will be pushed back to a 11:15 PM start time on the Sunday because of the extended finale episode and the one-hour live Talking Bad featuring series creator Vince Gilligan, star Aaron Paul, Giancarlo Esposito, Jesse Plemmons, RJ Mitte, Jonathan Banks and ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel. Read More »
Breaking Bad writer and co-EP Peter Gould tweeted today that the last two episodes of the AMC drama will run “75 minutes each w/ commercials”. Meanwhile, as the countdown to the series finale reaches T-minus 10 days, the network is priming the buzz pump and thanking the show’s cast … Read More »
AMC is having a hard time saying goodbye to its signature dramas. After splitting the final season of Breaking Bad into two parts to air in 2012 and 2013, the network is doing the same for Mad Men, … Read More »
AMC is expanding another successful series into a scripted franchise. After giving the go-ahead last week to Better Call Saul, a spinoff series from Breaking Bad, the network just announced that it is in the initial stages of developing a companion series to mega hit The Walking Dead. The new drama series has a target on-air date of 2015. It will be will be executive produced by The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert for AMC Studios. “Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager. He noted that the companion series will have “an entirely new story and cast of characters”. “It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse,” he said. Added Kirkman, on whose comic The Walking Dead was based. “After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.” Read More »
Did you miss Deadline’s top TV stories of this week? Check them out here now:
Ben Affleck & Glenn Gordon Caron Crime Drama Gets Fox Pilot Order, Affleck To Helm
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: One of the hottest filmmakers, Oscar winner Ben Affleck, and one of the best-regarded series creators, … Read More »
Breaking Bad‘s Saul Goodman will live on at AMC. After lengthy negotiations, the cable network and Breaking Bad producer Sony Pictures TV have reached a licensing agreement for a spinoff from Vince Gilligan‘s acclaimed drama series. The spinoff series, tentatively titled Better Call Saul, had been in the works for months. It centers on one of Breaking Bad‘s most recognizable supporting characters, Bob Odenkirk‘s unflappable criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. Conceived by Breaking Bad creator Gilligan and series writer-producer Peter Gould — who created the Saul character together for a Season 2 episode written by Gould — the spinoff will be a one-hour prequel that will focus on the evolution of the Goodman character before he ever became Walter White’s lawyer, AMC said. The network wouldn’t elaborate on the project’s status, but I’ve learned Better Call Saul has a series order pending the complication of Sony TV’s deals with Gilligan, Gould and Odenkirk. The pact between AMC and Sony TV came after talks between the two sides came down to the wire, with other outlets, including Netflix, which has had huge success with Breaking Bad, very interested in snatching the spinoff series.
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It’s déjà vu all over again. A year after AMC cancelled The Killing after two seasons, the network has done it again following the mystery drama’s third season. There had been some encouraging signs — The Killing‘s third season opened with an OK 1.8 million viewers and drew largely positive reaction from critics and fans. But it ended with 1.5 million for the season finale, up only slightly from the 1.4 million viewers of the second-season ender, and Season 3 overall was essentially flat with Season 2, whose ratings had triggered the series’ first cancellation. “We have made the difficult decision not to move forward with a fourth season of The Killing,” AMC said in a statement to Deadline. “We want to thank our great partners at Fox Television Studios, creator Veena Sud, an extraordinary cast and the dedicated fans who watched.” Read More »
Icelandic actor Olafur Darri Olafsson, who starred in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed The Deep, has been cast as a series regular role in AMC‘s pilot Line Of Sight. Omar Metwally (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn … Read More »
It will be a monster last hurrah for AMC’s Breaking Bad, which opened its final eight-episode run last night with 5.9 million viewers, a series high that doubled the drama’s season five premiere last summer. Last … Read More »
Walter White, or Heisenberg? The TV critics’ 2013 Program of the Year is heading into the second half of its fifth and final season on AMC. Here’s a newly released promo dubbed “Say My Name” teasing Breaking Bad‘s return on August 11:
Jonathan Lisco has closed a two-year overall deal with AMC. Under the pact, Lisco will serve as showrunner on the cable network’s newly picked up series Halt And Catch Fire while also developing original projects. … Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Will the new AMC drama Low Winter Sun do for Detroit what HBO’s The Wire did for Baltimore? That’s one of the chief questions looming for the dark, gritty and violent new 10-episode series that premieres August 11 at 10 PM following the Breaking Bad final season premiere. And of course, the show arrives during a particularly difficult time for Detroit, which last week filed for bankruptcy. The presumption is that a series focusing on the seamy underbelly of the city probably isn’t poised to build much in the way of civic pride for a metropolis that could use some right about now. But this afternoon at TCA, star Mark Strong — who uniquely also played the same role in the two-part British miniseries on which this American edition is based — observed that the location production has in fact been welcomed with open arms. “There’s a symbiotic relationship we have, really, because we’re shining a spotlight on the city during something of its darkest hour,” Strong said. “But the city really has made us feel right at home.” Added co-star Lennie James: “Detroit and its people shy away from the dark side of themselves. That helps a lot.” Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Even as AMC sets to premiere the final eight episodes of its iconic drama series Breaking Bad beginning August 11, plans for a series spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk’s sleazy lawyer character Saul Goodman continue to move forward. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan confirmed during an afternoon TCA session that it remains his “fervent wish” that there be a Goodman spinoff, adding the caveat that he speaks “for no one except maybe Bob and Peter Gould, the staff writer who created the character in season two.” Gilligan said he’s been working with Gould to shape what a Saul Goodman series would look like as well as perhaps a pilot script. But as of now, the potential show isn’t attached to either a production company or network, at least that Gilligan can divulge. “I speak for no company or professional entity when I say I really hope it happens,” he said. “It’s for powers bigger than me to figure out if it can come to fruition, but I’d very much like that to be the case.” Gilligan said a few weeks ago that he is working on nothing else in his post-Breaking Bad life except the potential Goodman series, which presumably would be an hour but could be a half-hour. Odenkirk, who was on the TCA panel along with Gilligan and castmates Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt, seconded his boss’ hope about the show. “I would do it in a second,” he said. “I would do it because if Vince wrote it, it’s going to be awesome.” Read More »
AMC has picked up Halt & Catch Fire and Turn in what network topper Charlie Collier said is the first time AMC has picked up two scripted series in the same cycle. Both projects hail from AMC Studios. Jonathan Lisco has been tapped as showrunner of … Read More »