"Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan has often said that he wants the hit series to run for five seasons in order to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. But there's still some drama ahead before that can happen.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that negotiations with AMC over a fifth and final season have been particularly tense, to the point where Sony Television has started sending feelers to other networks about potentially picking the show up for next year.
The key issue that led to this step was AMC's attempt to convince Gilligan and Sony TV to produce a shorter fifth season of six to eight episodes instead of the usual thirteen, which was roundly rejected.
It should be noted that it is the best interests of both sides to work out a deal. "Breaking Bad" is one of AMC's signature shows with an intense fan following, critical acclaim and Emmy Awards for series stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. If "Breaking Bad" were to move to another network, its new home would likely want at least two seasons to justify the expense of bringing in an established show.
This comes on the heals of AMC's heated and protracted negotiations with Matt Weiner over the future of "Mad Men" that spilled into the press and derailed hopes of debuting a new season during 2011. The story in the LA Times also notes that AMC has cut the budget for "The Walking Dead" by about $250,000 per episode; which is rumored to be a factor in Frank Darabont's sudden departure last week.
What do you think about AMC's recent programming moves and negotiations? Would you follow "Breaking Bad" to a new network? Cook up your thoughts in the comment section below!