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'Breaking Bad' in Crisis as Talks Stall Between Producers and AMC

Date August 02, 2011
'Breaking Bad' Season 4 It's been a drama-filled summer off-screen at cable network AMC and now comes news that 'Breaking Bad' is the latest series to run into trouble.

According to 'The Los Angeles Times,' renewal talks for Season 5 of the critically acclaimed drama have reached an impasse after AMC wanted to cut the number of epsiodes from 13 to six or eight.

Last week...

'Breaking Bad' Season 4 It's been a drama-filled summer off-screen at cable network AMC and now comes news that 'Breaking Bad' is the latest series to run into trouble.

According to 'The Los Angeles Times,' renewal talks for Season 5 of the critically acclaimed drama have reached an impasse after AMC wanted to cut the number of epsiodes from 13 to six or eight.

Last week Sony studios reportedly started shopping the series around, sending feelers out to at least three other cable networks about taking 'Breaking Bad' should an agreement with AMC fall through.

AMC's attempt to cut costs comes in the wake of its expensive new deal with 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner, the controversial debut season of 'The Killing,' and turmoil over budgets at 'The Walking Dead.'

'Breaking Bad' Season 4 recently debuted to a series high of 2.6 million viewers, but creator Vince Gilligan has said publicly that he wants Season 5 to be the last. AMC wants to bring it back, but for less moeny than it's costing right now.

AMC is looking to cut costs on zombie drama 'The Walking Dead,' which is rumored to be having its per-episode budget slashed by about $250,000. Last week showrunner Frank Darabont quit, and there is speculation that budget cuts were the reason, although AMC sources deny it.

Back in May Darabont said that "if they do move ahead with [the budget] they're talking about, it will affect the show creatively ... in a negative way. Which just strikes me as odd. If you have an asset, why would you punish it?"

Although both sides are expected to hammer out a mutually acceptable deal, in the unlikely event that 'Breaking Bad' did move to another channel, the producers would probably have to agree to make additional seasons. It would be highly unusual for a network to commit to just one season of a show it acquires from another network.

Read more http://www.aoltv.com/2011/08/02/breaking-bad-in-crisis-as-talks-stall-between-producers-and-am/

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