AMC has reached a deal to extend its critically-acclaimed meth-drama 'Breaking Bad' for a final 16 episode season, the network announced Sunday. The agreement comes several weeks after renewal talks stalled between AMC and the show's producer Sony when AMC floated the idea of cutting the 'Bad''s fifth and final season down to six or eight episodes.
The deal ensures that 'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan will have enough time to fully chronicle Walter White's descent from chemistry teacher into a Meth-cooking drug kingpin.
"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," Gilligan said in a statement from AMC. "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."
The deal is a win for AMC, the upstart network that has endured a recent run of behind-the-scenes budget challenges on several of its high-quality, character-driven dramas. A dispute between Lionsgate and AMC delayed Season 6 of 'Mad Men' until early 2012, and 'Walking Dead' showrunner Frank Darabont left the show over budget disagreements in early August.