We’ve heard and read that Breaking Bad‘s Season 5 picks up right where Season 4 left off. That appears to be true. AMC’s hit drama returns July 15th:
AMC announced today its summer programming slate, including the highly anticipated premiere of the first part of “Breaking Bad’s” final season on Sunday, July 15 at 10pm ET/PT. The final season of the Emmy® Award-winning and critically acclaimed drama, produced by Sony Pictures Television, consists of 16 episodes, with the first eight episodes beginning July 15 and culminating with the series’ final eight episodes next summer 2013. Also this summer, the network debuts its newest unscripted series, “Small Town Security,” on Sunday, July 15 at 11pm ET/PT and season two of the epic western “Hell on Wheels” Sunday, August 12 at 9pm ET/PT.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has signed a new overall deal with the studio behind the acclaimed AMC drama series, Sony Pictures TV. The rich 18-month pact kicks in retroactively to November, when Gilligan’s previous deal with the studio expired (he has been working on the show without a contract for the past three months), and will keep him at Sony though June 2013. The deal covers Gilligan’s services as executive producer/showrunner on the final 16 episodes of Breaking Bad, which will begin production in late March. The order will be filmed in two batches of eight episodes, with a break of several months between for writers to work on scripts. The pact also includes development component, with Gilligan expected to focus on new projects for Sony after he wraps Breaking Bad.
Seconds after the Producers Guild announced the TV series nominations for its 2012 awards, commenters started asking in disbelief: Where is Breaking Bad? Indeed, the acclaimed AMC drama was conspicuously missing from the PGA Award nominations. Underscoring what appeared like a baffling omission, the WGA announced its TV series nominations minutes later, and Breaking Bad led the pack with three nominations. But while their ceremonies are only a month apart in January-February, the PGA Awards and WGA Awards’ eligibility windows vary wildly, leading to the puzzling discrepancies.
There was no Kurt Sutter reaction to AMC’s renewal of Breaking Bad yesterday. That’s because the refreshingly uncensored Sons of Anarchy creator had just pulled the plug on his Twitter feed, days after he blamed the protracted negotiations for the Vince Gilligan-created Breaking Bad and the firing of The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont on Matt Weiner’s megadeal for Mad Men. “No one else wants to f**king say it, but the greed of Mad Men is killing the other two best shows on TV — Breaking Bad and Walking Dead,” Sutter wrote last week. “Why Darabont got fired — Weiner. He held AMC hostage, broke their bank, budgets were slashed, shit rolled down hill onto Gilligan and Frank. Those, along with the recent anti-TV Academy zingers, are now just a distant memory. Here is Sutter blog post on his exit from Twitter:
‘Breaking Bad’ Eyes Two-Season Finale
AMC President On ‘Breaking Bad’ Order, ‘Walking Dead’ Budget & ‘Mad Men’ Deal
After tense and public negotiations, AMC just closed a deal with producer Sony Pictures TV to renew dark drama Breaking Bad for a final batch of 16 episodes. The episodes are expected to be filmed together but may be split into two seasons, with a final scheduling decision to be made at a later date. The deal comes just as the series was facing two deadlines: its license deal with AMC was set to expire tomorrow and the options on the actors are up Aug. 31. The two sides have reached a compromise over the stickiest issue — who will cover the series’ budget of $3 million-plus. I hear both Sony TV and AMC will contribute. While negotiations were contentious and Sony did flirt with the idea of moving Breaking Bad to another network, the two sides started making progress over the past two weeks, leading to today’s deal. With the series renewal secured, Sony TV now has to make a new deal with Breaking Bad creator/executive producer Vince Gilligan, who doesn’t have a contract beyond Season 4 but is fully expected to return for the series’ final hurrah. The cast, led by Emmy winners Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, may also renegotiate their deals.
UPDATE 6 PM: AMC just issued a release announcing the final pickup for Breaking Bad. Here it is:
New York – NY, August, 14, 2011 – AMC announced today that “Breaking Bad,” the Emmy Award-winning and critically lauded drama series from acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan has been renewed for a 16 episode order that will conclude the series. Production on all episodes of the final order will commence in early 2012. The roll-out of the episodes and premiere date schedule has yet to be determined by the network. The announcement was made by Charlie Collier, president of AMC.
Sam Catlin, co-executive producer on AMC/Sony Pictures TV’s drama series Breaking Bad, has signed a two-year overall deal with Sony TV. Under the pact, Catlin is set to continue on Breaking Bad, which has not been renewed for a fifth season …
For a network that has only 5 shows on the air, AMC has been in the headlines with series-related issues an awful lot during the past 8 months, first over the difficult and very public negotiations with Mad Men creator Matt Weiner and more recently over the abrupt exit of The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and the ongoing negotiations for Breaking Bad. I caught up tonight with AMC president Charlie Collier who declined to discuss the specifics surrounding the Breaking Bad talks with producer Sony Pictures TV and Darabont’s departure but addressed several other issues that have been the subject of a lot of speculation, including rumored budget cuts on Walking Dead which some have linked to Darabont’s exit and reported AMC demands for a 6-8-episode fifth season of Breaking Bad.
Deadline: Did you cut the budget on The Walking Dead in Season 2?
Collier: If you look at pilot budgets vs. pattern budgets usually the pilot budget is much higher than what ends up being the pattern budget. With The Walking Dead, instead of doing a pilot, we went straight to 6 episodes because we believed in the team and the talent in front and behind the camera. Then we came back with a 13-episode second season, and amortization over 13 episodes is very different than over 6. But we settled into one of the highest pattern budgets for a basic cable series.
Deadline: So the overall budget for Season 2 is lower than the Season 1 because of the amortization factor?
Collier: We went straight to series, with the first season serving in many ways as a pilot, and then we have settled into a 13-episode pattern budget.
Deadline: Did AMC want to truncate season 5 of Breaking Bad?
Collier: There has been a lot reported about this negotiation, but we would never comment on an open negotiation in the press. There have been all sorts of scenarios about how to bring Breaking Bad back on our air, we proposed many scenarios not just one format. The truth is that we have productive negotiations with Sony in hopes of doing right by both companies and the fans of this great show.
The wait is over — the delayed Season 4 of AMC’s praised drama Breaking Bad will premiere on Sunday, July 17. The cable network took a longer-than-usual break between Season 3 of the show, which launched in March of last year, and Season 4, rendering the series ineligible for this …
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, co-stars of the ABC comedy Modern Family, will co-host the 2011 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom. Modern Family is tied with Breaking Bad and 30 Rock for most WGA nominations, 3. …
Bryan Cranston, age 54, has been a working actor for nearly three decades, though in anonymous roles most of that time. A decade ago he was cast as the hapless father on the Fox comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and suddenly everything changed. Usually an actor is lucky to have lightning strike once for him. But for Cranston it’s now happened twice. His second act as the mega-intense high school chemistry teacher-turned-crystal meth maker Walter White in AMC’s Breaking Bad has earned him two Emmys and a 3rd straight nomination. He faces off in the lead drama actor category against Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Hugh Laurie (House) and Matthew Fox (Lost). Cranston spoke with Ray Richmond for Deadline Hollywood about how Walt is like Tony Soprano, and why he’s fearful of saying something dumb on Emmy night:
DH: It’s difficult to imagine two characters more different than Hal and Walt. It’s tough to reconcile it’s even the same actor playing both parts.
BC: That’s why I look at being able to play Walt as the gift of my life. Jason Alexander has talked about how his transition from Seinfeld has been so difficult. We truly do become victims of our own success. I spent seven years developing and strengthening that character on Malcolm. And now I’m trying to wash it away so I don’t have to live in its shadow. Fortunately, the people attracted to the material we’re doing on Breaking Bad aren’t generally the same ones who are fans of situation comedy.
DH: But you were not an obvious choice for ‘High school chemistry teacher with terminal cancer who becomes a crystal meth chef to make a quick killing’. How did Vince Gilligan cast you?
BC: Well, Breaking Bad was one of four pilot scripts
I’m told Oscar-winning producer Mark Johnson and his Gran VIA production company have signed with UTA for representation in television. Johnson, who’s produced everything on the big screen from Rain Man to The Notebook to the Chronicles of Narnia series, is looking to significantly expand his presence on the small …
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Drama Series race:
MAD MEN (AMC – Lionsgate TV)
Why It Was Nominated: The critics rave. The fans swoon. But the masses yawn. Fortunately for AMC, the masses don’t get to choose the Emmy nominations. But no Industry type believes AMC’s Mad Men …