AMC Renews Breaking Bad for 16 Final Episodes

By Tim Surette

Aug 15, 2011

Life imitated art last week, when the crew and studio behind Breaking Bad wiggled out of a tough predicament by staging a gritty standoff. Except, instead of a chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-maker facing off against drug dealers, Mexican cartel members, a bitter wife, the DEA, and his own pride, it was Sony Television and the makers of Breaking Bad staring down the barrel of a gun wielded by AMC.

The two sides made their feud public after AMC requested a final, shortened season of six or eight episodes; Sony responded by shopping the series to rival cable networks, including FX. The result of the stalemate: Breaking Bad will get sixteen more episodes to wrap up its story after the conclusion of the current thirteen-episode fourth season, the network announced yesterday.

That doesn't mean Season 5 will definitely be Breaking Bad's last (though it certainly appears that way). There are no deals in place that dictate how the final sixteen episodes will be dispersed, which means it's possible they could be divided among two shorter seasons instead of becoming one super-sized season.

In the end, it's a victory for the series, which now has time to end on its own terms. Creator Vince Gilligan said in a statement: “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 that 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.”

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • staind47 Aug 17, 2011

    I agree, it is good news and gives them time to really carefully plan a good solid last season.

  • MJTaylor4592 Aug 17, 2011

    i hope Walt's cancer kills him unexpectedly. Like right in the middle of the story, so there's no closure. That'd be interesting.

  • saintnumber5 Aug 17, 2011


  • bothcats Aug 17, 2011


  • GoKuVeGeTaGoHaN Aug 17, 2011

    That means there are only 24 episodes left to wrap up Heisengberg's/Walt's story. I think it's more than enough to get a satisfying closure to one of the best drama shows ever made.

  • provencrt Aug 16, 2011

    love this show, seriously best out there

  • HeatherDumond Aug 16, 2011

    I love this show and im glad that it's not going to end yet. I hope we aren't left with any lingering questions. I hate when shows do that.

  • Geertvdheide Aug 16, 2011

    Good to read there's more fans in these comments who are happy with this news, like I am. Good shows end on their own terms. The worst possible situation for writing a tv show is having the chance of it being cancelled at any time. That makes it impossible to lay down effective story arcs. Breaking Bad wasn't supposed to be an indefinetely extensible show like The Simpsons or Law & Order. It needs to end, and I'm confident now that it will end well. Besides, 5 seasons is quite a lot for a show of such rare quality. If only Firefly and Carnivale got this many episodes, but at least some shows get the chance. I'm happy :)

  • elthandiel Aug 18, 2011

    I fully agree, especially about Firefly and Carnivale. Carnivale was shipping up to be my favorite show. I remember reading somewhere that Daniel Knauf, or Knauph or something the show's creator, had five seasons all planned out. However, due to the monstrous budget and waning ratings HBO gave the young show the axe. That show had me completely mystified.

  • iftycartmen Aug 16, 2011

    why man why i love this series. fk those retards

  • MikeMuller1 Aug 16, 2011

    Well, so how will it end? I'd go for the bad ending: Walter jr. becomes addicted to blue meth now that they have the money, Hank recovers and goes after everyone, starting with Gus (which leads to Walter and Jesse becoming the drug kingpins for a short time). When he realizes that Walter is the genius cook he sets him up for a trap. Jesse is killed, Walter goes to jail. Skyler as well for accessory to murder, the baby goes to Hank and Marie. Walter junior is seen roaming the streets and buying meth from Badger. Final scene is Walter White in prison, a doctor telling him that the cancer is back and he has two weeks left to live. The end!

    Cause after what has happened over the years I'd be disappointed if the message of all would be that crime pays. He should be in a situation where everything is worse than when he first started to break bad.

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