November 29, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 38°F


The business behind “Breaking Bad”’s final season

Arguably one of the best shows on television ever, “Breaking Bad” ended the first half of its last season last Sunday night. I won’t spoil any of the season for you — because that’s just not cool — but I definitely recommend checking out “Breaking Bad” before the series ends in Summer 2013.

“Breaking Bad” is definitely a critical success and has the Emmy Awards to prove it. But since the show’s ratings have increased with every season, many people have been wondering why this is the show’s last season.

The main answer, like it is in most television deals, is money. In 2011, the contract between Sony Pictures Television (who produces “Breaking Bad”) and AMC were set to expire. Gilligan was set on a fifth and final season, and Sony supported him due to the success of the show. AMC also wanted the series to return, but “Breaking Bad” was getting expensive to produce, and neither party was interested in exclusively supporting the three million dollar budget.

Thus both parties were at a standstill. Sony deployed multiple tactics to press AMC to end negotiations — most notably, attempting to make deals with networks like HBO to air and purchase the final season. Intense negotiations continued until the day before the contract expiration dates, but — since we know that the mid-season finale aired on AMC last night — both parties reached an agreement.

And aren’t we all glad?! It’s a bummer that the show is ending, but at least “Breaking Bad” won’t turn into “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Weeds” or any other show that aired past its prime. Gilligan gets the chance to end the show on his own creative terms and we get more of Walter White through 2013. The way I see it, this is a win-win.