Done and dusted. After a couple of tense negotiations and a threat to move the show elsewhere, AMC and Sony TV have finally reached a deal to renew Breaking Bad in a move that will complete the show. A final order of 16 episodes has been made which will all be filmed together but could be split into two seasons or a more logical season hiatus.
Sony and AMC have also sorted out the contentious issue of who will cover the budget, both will apparently contribute to a budget of $3 million per episode. However although renewal is secured, Sony still has to renegotiate the contract with Vince Gilligan who was only signed up for 4 seasons, plus the actors may also want to renegotiate their own contracts.
Personally, although I will be sad to see the show leave our screens, I think it’s the right time for the show to end. Both star Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan are very conscious about not letting the show get stale and leaving on a high. I have been a huge fan of the show since its first airing, and the quality has not yet dipped. To me, the acknowledgement of both creatives and executives that this is the time for the show to end displays some very good decisions on both parts.
Season 4 of Breaking Bad is currently airing on AMC. You can read the press release below:
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.
“Breaking Bad’s” fourth season premiered on Sunday, July 18th to the highest ratings ever for the series. Household ratings are 30% stronger than season three and season four is delivering 28% more total viewers and over 45% more adults 18-34 than last season. “From the day we heard Vince Gilligan’s completely original vision for ‘Breaking Bad,’ it has been a complete joy to be involved with this show. Watching this story evolve into the complex, compelling, and intense roller coaster ride that it has become has been an incredible creative experience for everyone at AMC. Beyond that, working with Vince, his brilliant cast and crew, and our wonderful partners at Sony has been remarkable in every way. While it is sad to even contemplate the end of this series, we are so happy to have had the chance to go on this ride, and truly look forward to presenting the rest of this amazing story,” said Collier.
“It’s a funny irony — I’d hate to know the date of my own last day on earth, but I’m delighted to know what Walter White’s will be (episodically speaking). This is a great gift to me and to my wonderful writers. It’s knowledge which will allow us to properly build our story to a satisfying conclusion. Now, if we don’t manage to pull that off, we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves,” said Vince Gilligan. “‘Breaking Bad’ has been a dream job these past four years. Working with the best cast and crew in television has no doubt spoiled me for future projects. I’m lucky to get to work with them on sixteen more episodes, and I will always be grateful to both AMC and Sony Television, who from the beginning, believed in our show and supported me creatively and professionally. We have been able to take risks with ‘Breaking Bad’ which would not have been possible on other networks.”
“We’ve watched ‘Breaking Bad’ grow over the years with viewers, as championed by the unwavering support of critics and the well deserved accolades Vince and his talented actors have received. We’re looking forward to seeing Vince’s masterful storytelling come fully to fruition over the course of the series’ final episodes,” said Zack Van Amburg, President, programming for Sony Pictures Television.
“Breaking Bad” stars Emmy Award-winner Bryan Cranston as Walter White; Emmy Award-winner Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman; Anna Gunn as Skyler White; Dean Norris as Hank Schrader; Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader; RJ Mitte as Walter, Jr; Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman; Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring; and Jonathan Banks as Mike. “Breaking Bad” is filmed on location in Albuquerque, NM.
The series first premiered on AMC in January 2008 and follows protagonist Walter White, a milquetoast high school chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife, teenage son who has cerebral palsy and a new baby girl. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to gain financial security for his family, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White’s releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild-mannered family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.