Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

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Breaking Bad is an American television drama series created and produced by Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan is an American writer, director and producer. He is the creator of the highly acclaimed television series Breaking Bad. Gilligan has also worked on the hit series The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. He is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University...

. Set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

, Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White
Walter White (Breaking Bad)
Walter Hartwell "Walt" White is a fictional character and the antihero of the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He is portrayed by Bryan Cranston and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan...

 (Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, writer and director. He is best known for his roles as Hal the father in the Fox situation comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, for which he won three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama...

), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine
Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs...

 with a former student, Jesse Pinkman
Jesse Pinkman
Jesse Bruce Pinkman is a fictional character of the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He is portrayed by Aaron Paul and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan.-Background:...

 (Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul
Aaron Michael Paul is an American actor. After appearing in several roles in American television, including a recurring role on the HBO series Big Love, Paul came to prominence in the late 2000s for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Jesse Pinkman in the AMC series Breaking Bad, for which he...

), with the aim of securing his family's financial future before he dies.

Breaking Bad has received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its writing and cinematography
Cinematography
Cinematography is the making of lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images for cinema. It is closely related to the art of still photography...

, in addition to the acting ability of its cast. It has won six Emmy Awards—including three consecutive wins for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Cranston—in addition to numerous other awards and nominations.

The series is broadcast in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC, and is a production of Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television, Inc. is an American and global television production/distribution subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. In turn, the latter is part of the Japanese conglomerate Sony.-Background:...

. It premiered on January 20, 2008, and has completed its fourth season. On August 14, 2011, AMC announced that Breaking Bad had been renewed for a fifth and final season consisting of 16 episodes that may be split over two seasons.

Production


The series is set and filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

. It is shot in 35 mm film
35 mm film
35 mm film is the film gauge most commonly used for chemical still photography and motion pictures. The name of the gauge refers to the width of the photographic film, which consists of strips 35 millimeters in width...

.

The network originally ordered nine episodes for the first season (including the pilot), but the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike
2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike
The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, more commonly referred to as simply the Writers' Strike, was a strike by the Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, West ....

 limited the production to seven episodes.

Lead actor Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, writer and director. He is best known for his roles as Hal the father in the Fox situation comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, for which he won three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama...

 stated in an interview: "The term 'breaking bad' is a southern colloquialism
Colloquialism
A colloquialism is a word or phrase that is common in everyday, unconstrained conversation rather than in formal speech, academic writing, or paralinguistics. Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier...

 and it means when someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow, when they've gone wrong. And that could be for that day or for a lifetime." Writer and creator Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan is an American writer, director and producer. He is the creator of the highly acclaimed television series Breaking Bad. Gilligan has also worked on the hit series The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. He is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University...

 defines the term as "to raise hell". Cast member Betsy Brandt
Betsy Brandt
Betsy Brandt is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Marie Schrader in Breaking Bad-Early life:Brandt is a native of Bay City, Michigan. Betsy graduated from Western High School in 1991....

 admits that when she first read the script she was not sure if it was meant to be a drama or a dark comedy.

Breaking Bad reportedly costs $3 million per episode to produce, higher than the average cost for a basic cable program.

Series creator Vince Gilligan has indicated that he intends to conclude Breaking Bad with the fifth season. In early August 2011, negotiations began over a deal regarding the fifth and possible final season between the network AMC and Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television, Inc. is an American and global television production/distribution subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. In turn, the latter is part of the Japanese conglomerate Sony.-Background:...

, the production company of the series. AMC proposed a shortened fifth season (six to eight episodes, instead of 13) to cut costs, but the producers declined. Sony then approached other cable networks about possibly picking up the show if a deal could not be made. On August 14, 2011, a deal was made where AMC renewed the series for a final 16 episodes.

Gilligan has said his goal with Walter White is to turn Mr. Chips
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a novel by James Hilton, published in the United States in June 1934 by Little, Brown and Company and in the United Kingdom in October of that same year by Hodder & Stoughton...

 into Scarface
Tony Montana
Antonio Raimundo "Tony" Montana is a fictional character from the 1983 film Scarface. He is portrayed by Al Pacino in the movie, and is voiced by André Sogliuzzo in the 2006 video game Scarface: The World Is Yours. Tony Montana has become a cultural icon and is one of the most famous movie...

. Gilligan has said it is difficult to write for Walter White because the character is so dark and morally questionable: "I'm going to miss the show when it's over, but on some level, it'll be a relief to not have Walt in my head anymore." As the series has progressed, Gilligan and the writing staff of Breaking Bad have made Walter more and more unsympathetic. Gilligan said: "He's going from being a protagonist to an antagonist. We want to make people question who they're pulling for, and why." Cranston said by the fourth season
Breaking Bad (season 4)
The fourth season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on July 17, 2011 and concluded on October 9, 2011. It consists of 13 episodes, each running approximately 47 minutes in length...

: "I think Walt's figured out it's better to be a pursuer than the pursued. He's well on his way to badass."

Casting



Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan is an American writer, director and producer. He is the creator of the highly acclaimed television series Breaking Bad. Gilligan has also worked on the hit series The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. He is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University...

 cast Bryan Cranston for the role of Walter White based on having worked with him in a sixth season
The X-Files (season 6)
The sixth season of the science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on the Fox Broadcasting Network in the United States on November 8, 1998, concluding on the same channel on May 16, 1999, and contained 22 episodes. The series was developed by Chris Carter, who also serves as...

 episode of the science fiction television series The X-Files
The X-Files
The X-Files is an American science fiction television series and a part of The X-Files franchise, created by screenwriter Chris Carter. The program originally aired from to . The show was a hit for the Fox network, and its characters and slogans became popular culture touchstones in the 1990s...

, where Gilligan worked as a writer. Cranston played an anti-Semitic redneck with a terminal illness who took series protagonist Fox Mulder
Fox Mulder
FBI Special Agent Fox William Mulder is a fictional character and protagonist in the American Fox television shows The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen, two science fiction shows about a government conspiracy to hide or deny the truth of Alien existence. Mulder's peers consider his theories on...

 hostage. Gilligan said the character had to be simultaneously loathsome and sympathetic, and that "Bryan alone was the only actor who could do that, who could pull off that trick. And it is a trick. I have no idea how he does it." AMC officials were initially reluctant with the casting choice, having known Cranston only as the over-the-top character Hal on the comedy series Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle is an American television sitcom created by Linwood Boomer for the Fox Network. The series was first broadcast on January 9, 2000, and ended its six-and-a-half-year run on May 14, 2006, after seven seasons and 151 episodes...

, but they were persuaded after Gilligan screened the X-Files episode for them.

Series creator Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan is an American writer, director and producer. He is the creator of the highly acclaimed television series Breaking Bad. Gilligan has also worked on the hit series The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. He is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University...

 originally intended for Jesse Pinkman's character to be killed at the end of Breaking Bad's first season
Breaking Bad (season 1)
The first season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on January 20, 2008 and concluded on March 9, 2008. It consisted of seven episodes, each running approximately 47 minutes in length, except the pilot episode which runs approximately 57 minutes. AMC broadcast the first...

. Originally, Gilligan wanted Jesse to die in a botched drug deal as a plot device to plague the main protagonist Walter White with guilt. However, Gilligan said by the second episode of the season, he was so impressed with Jesse's character and Aaron Paul's performance that "it became pretty clear early on that would be a huge, colossal mistake, to kill off Jesse".

Crew


Along with series creator Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan is an American writer, director and producer. He is the creator of the highly acclaimed television series Breaking Bad. Gilligan has also worked on the hit series The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. He is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University...

 the show's other executive producer is Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson (producer)
Mark Johnson is an American film producer. Johnson won the Best Picture Academy Award for producing the 1988 drama movie Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise...

. Michelle MacLaren
Michelle MacLaren
Michelle Maxwell MacLaren is a Canadian television director and producer who has worked on numerous series both in Canada and the United States, and is perhaps best known for her work on shows such as The X-Files, Breaking Bad and most recently Frank Darabont's acclaimed series The Walking Dead...

 initially joined the crew as an episodic director for the second season and rose to the position of executive producer for the fourth season. Melissa Bernstein and Sam Catlin
Sam Catlin
Sam Catlin is an American television writer and producer. He has worked on the AMC drama Breaking Bad. He has been nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for his work on the series.-Biography:...

 are co-executive producers for the show.

John Shiban
John Shiban
John Shiban is an Emmy Award nominated American television writer and producer. He worked in both capacities on The X-Files and its spin-off The Lone Gunmen, Star Trek: Enterprise, Smallville, Supernatural, Legend of the Seeker, Breaking Bad and The Vampire Diaries...

 was a writer for the second season and a consulting producer for the third season but then left the crew. Writers George Mastras
George Mastras
George Mastras is an American author, television writer and producer. He has worked on all four seasons of the AMC drama Breaking Bad. He won the Pen USA Literary Award in 2009, and was nominated for a 2010 Prime Time Emmy Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and four Writers Guild of America ...

 and Peter Gould
Peter Gould (writer)
Peter Gould is an American television writer and producer. He has worked on all four seasons of the AMC drama Breaking Bad. He had been nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the series.-Biography:...

 began working on the series as story editors for the first season and became supervising producers for the fourth season. Thomas Schnauz joined the crew as a writer and co-producer for the third season and was also promoted to supervising producer for the fourth season.

Karen Moore was the series on set producer for the first two seasons. She left the crew after the second season and was replaced by Stewart A. Lyons. Star Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, writer and director. He is best known for his roles as Hal the father in the Fox situation comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, for which he won three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama...

 has become increasingly involved behind the camera as the series has progressed. He began directing episodes as of the second season and became a producer for the fourth season.

Cast and characters


  • Bryan Cranston
    Bryan Cranston
    Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, writer and director. He is best known for his roles as Hal the father in the Fox situation comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, for which he won three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama...

     as Walter White
    Walter White (Breaking Bad)
    Walter Hartwell "Walt" White is a fictional character and the antihero of the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He is portrayed by Bryan Cranston and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan...

  • Anna Gunn
    Anna Gunn
    Anna Gunn is an American actress, best known for her roles as Assistant District Attorney Jean Ward on The Practice, Martha Bullock on Deadwood, and, currently, Skyler White on Breaking Bad. She appeared on Seinfeld in the episode "The Glasses" and on the first season of Murder One...

     as Skyler White
  • Aaron Paul
    Aaron Paul
    Aaron Michael Paul is an American actor. After appearing in several roles in American television, including a recurring role on the HBO series Big Love, Paul came to prominence in the late 2000s for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Jesse Pinkman in the AMC series Breaking Bad, for which he...

     as Jesse Pinkman
    Jesse Pinkman
    Jesse Bruce Pinkman is a fictional character of the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He is portrayed by Aaron Paul and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan.-Background:...

  • Dean Norris
    Dean Norris
    Dean Joseph Norris is an American actor currently starring as DEA agent Hank Schrader, the brother-in-law of main character Walter White in the AMC series Breaking Bad, which premiered on January 20, 2008.-Biography:...

     as Hank Schrader
  • Betsy Brandt
    Betsy Brandt
    Betsy Brandt is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Marie Schrader in Breaking Bad-Early life:Brandt is a native of Bay City, Michigan. Betsy graduated from Western High School in 1991....

     as Marie Schrader
  • RJ Mitte
    RJ Mitte
    Roy Frank “RJ” Mitte III is an American actor best known for his role as Walter White Jr. on the AMC television series, Breaking Bad....

     as Walter White, Jr.
  • Bob Odenkirk
    Bob Odenkirk
    Robert "Bob" Odenkirk is an American actor, comedian, writer, director and producer. He is best known as the co-creator and co-star of the HBO sketch comedy series Mr...

     as Saul Goodman
  • Giancarlo Esposito
    Giancarlo Esposito
    Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito is a Danish-born American film and television actor and director.-Early life:Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to an Italian father and African-American mother. His mother was an opera and nightclub singer from Alabama, who once appeared on the same...

     as Gustavo "Gus" Fring
    Gus Fring
    Gustavo 'Gus' Fring is a fictional character in the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He is portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan. Gus is one of the most prominent methamphetamine distributors in the southwest...

  • Jonathan Banks
    Jonathan Banks
    Jonathan Ray Banks is an American actor in film and television.Banks was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947. His mother worked for the CIA. Banks attended Indiana University Bloomington where he was a classmate of Kevin Kline...

     as Mike Ehrmantraut

Season one (2008)



The first season was originally intended to be nine episodes, but due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike
2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike
The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, more commonly referred to as simply the Writers' Strike, was a strike by the Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, West ....

 only seven episodes were filmed. The first season premiered on January 20, 2008, and concluded on March 9, 2008.

A struggling high school chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 teacher, Walter White
Walter White (Breaking Bad)
Walter Hartwell "Walt" White is a fictional character and the antihero of the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He is portrayed by Bryan Cranston and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan...

 (Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, writer and director. He is best known for his roles as Hal the father in the Fox situation comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, for which he won three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama...

), is diagnosed with incurable, advanced (stage IIIA) lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

. On a ride along with his DEA
DEA
DEA is the commonly used acronym for the Drug Enforcement Administration, a United States law enforcement agency.DEA or Dea may also refer to:- Organizations :* DEA , UK development education charity...

 agent brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris
Dean Norris
Dean Joseph Norris is an American actor currently starring as DEA agent Hank Schrader, the brother-in-law of main character Walter White in the AMC series Breaking Bad, which premiered on January 20, 2008.-Biography:...

), Walter sees a former student of his, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul
Aaron Michael Paul is an American actor. After appearing in several roles in American television, including a recurring role on the HBO series Big Love, Paul came to prominence in the late 2000s for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Jesse Pinkman in the AMC series Breaking Bad, for which he...

), fleeing the scene of a meth lab. He later contacts Jesse and devises a scheme to become partners in an attempt to combine their skills to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine
Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs...

. Walter says he wants to provide financial stability for his pregnant wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn
Anna Gunn
Anna Gunn is an American actress, best known for her roles as Assistant District Attorney Jean Ward on The Practice, Martha Bullock on Deadwood, and, currently, Skyler White on Breaking Bad. She appeared on Seinfeld in the episode "The Glasses" and on the first season of Murder One...

) and disabled son, and to pay for his expensive cancer treatment. During Walter and Jesse's first days of selling Albuquerque's finest meth, they encounter a series of problems with local drug dealers.

Season two (2009)



On May 7, 2008, AMC announced that Breaking Bad was renewed for a second, 13-episode season. Production began in July 2008 and the season premiered on March 8, 2009 and concluded on May 31, 2009.

Walter continues to find himself facing insurmountable medical bills from his cancer treatment. Despite having several bad experiences while producing meth with Jesse, Walter agrees to rejoin his partner. The two begin producing meth but run into multiple problems. Jesse's friend Badger (Matt L. Jones
Matt L. Jones
Matthew L. "Matt" Jones is an American actor and comedian best known for his recurring role as Badger on Breaking Bad and for voicing Gunther on the animated series Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil.-Life and career:...

) is arrested while selling meth in a sting operation. Walter hires a lawyer, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk
Bob Odenkirk
Robert "Bob" Odenkirk is an American actor, comedian, writer, director and producer. He is best known as the co-creator and co-star of the HBO sketch comedy series Mr...

), to help Badger. Later, Combo, another one of Jesse's friends and distributors, is killed by a rival gang for selling meth on their territory. Saul suggests the two find a new distribution model. He finds Walter and Jesse a new business partner, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito
Giancarlo Esposito
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito is a Danish-born American film and television actor and director.-Early life:Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to an Italian father and African-American mother. His mother was an opera and nightclub singer from Alabama, who once appeared on the same...

), who is willing to pay $1.2 million for 38 pounds of meth. The two drive a recreational vehicle
Recreational vehicle
Recreational vehicle or RV is, in North America, the usual term for a Motor vehicle or trailer equipped with living space and amenities found in a home.-Features:...

 into the desert and produce the meth in four days. Upon returning to Albuquerque, Walter hastily delivers his product to Gus, but misses his daughter's birth. Skyler confronts Walter about his frequent absences and excuses. She begins to piece together his secret life, and demands the two separate.

Season three (2010)



On April 2, 2009, AMC announced that Breaking Bad was renewed for a third, 13-episode season. It premiered on March 21, 2010, and concluded on June 13, 2010.

Walter wishes to reunite his family, but Skyler is still suspicious of Walter's second life. Walter believes he can mend the tension between them by confessing to her that he has been producing meth. Skyler is appalled by the confession and demands a formal divorce. Meanwhile, Gus offers to pay Walter three million dollars for three months of his service. He even offers to provide Walter with a state-of-the-art production facility and a brilliant lab assistant, Gale (David Costabile
David Costabile
David Costabile is an American actor. Born in Washington, D.C. He is best known for his recurring television roles on The Wire , Flight of the Conchords , Damages , and Breaking Bad...

). Jesse is continuing to produce and sell meth by himself. Hank is working with the DEA to investigate Jesse and is slowly gathering evidence to make an arrest. Jesse threatens to report Walter to the police if he is arrested, but Walter offers him Gale's position at the lab. After obtaining the position, Jesse begins stealing meth from the lab and selling it in secret on the side. Walter aides Jesse in escaping from Gus's wrath. Gus begins to lose trust in Walter and asks Gale to take over the lab. He orders his henchmen to kill Walter and Jesse. After he is abducted by Mike and Victor, Walter instructs Jesse to kill Gale in order to become the organization's only chemist.

Season four (2011)



On June 14, 2010, AMC announced Breaking Bad was renewed for a fourth, 13-episode season. Production began in January 2011, the season premiered on July 17, 2011 and concluded on October 9, 2011. Originally, mini episodes of four minutes in length were to be produced before the premiere of the fourth season, but these did not come to fruition.

Jesse follows Walter's instructions and murders Gale. Gus decides to discipline the two by enforcing stricter policies at the lab. He also tries to break Walter and Jesse's friendship by assigning them to separate work details. While Walter works in the meth lab, Jesse escorts Mike (Jonathan Banks
Jonathan Banks
Jonathan Ray Banks is an American actor in film and television.Banks was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947. His mother worked for the CIA. Banks attended Indiana University Bloomington where he was a classmate of Kevin Kline...

), one of Gus’s enforcers, to retrieve payments and provide back-up. Walter and Jesse become increasingly distant and hostile to each other. Meanwhile, Hank, who has been recovering from his last engagement with the cartel, finds evidence linking Gale to Gus. He believes Gus is a major drug distributor and starts looking for tangible evidence to file charges. Gus realizes Walter's close ties with Hank could jeopardize his entire operation. Gus fires Walter and threatens to kill his entire family. Jesse and Walter put their differences aside and agree to murder Gus. Using the immobile Hector to pull the trigger, Walter successfully kills Gus and his henchman. He and Jesse proceed to destroy the meth lab and Walt declares to his wife, "It's over... I won."

Season five (2012)


On August 14, 2011, AMC announced that Breaking Bad was renewed for a fifth and final season consisting of 16 episodes that may be split over two seasons.

Critical reception


Breaking Bad has received widespread critical acclaim and has been praised by some critics as the greatest drama of all time.

David Segal of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

praised the show as "satisfying and complex: a revolutionary take on the serial drama." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix
HitFix
HitFix, or the HitFix.com is an entertainment news website that launched in December 2008 specializing in breaking entertainment news, insider information and providing reviews and critiques of film, music and television...

 remarked that the third season belonged "in the pantheon of all-time great years for a TV drama." Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

called the program "TV's finest hour." Richard Woodward of The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is an American news website and content-aggregating blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring liberal minded columnists and various news sources. The site offers coverage of politics, theology, media, business, entertainment, living, style,...

referred to the series as "ultra-dark and gripping." James Poniewozik
James Poniewozik
James Poniewozik is an American journalist and television critic. He writes Times Tuned In column and has a blog with the same name.Originally from Monroe, MI, Poniewozik attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, graduating with a BA in English. He subsequently attended the graduate program...

 of Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

named Breaking Bad the top show on his "Top 10 TV Series of 2010" list. Todd VanDerWerff of HitFix admired the show for being "better than almost any series on right now at ramping up tension in almost completely organic ways." Linda Stasi of the New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

stated "the acting is as good as you'll see on TV." Time said the series "has the elements of success." Ken Tucker
Ken Tucker
Ken Tucker was an English footballer who played as a left winger....

 of Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

rated season one a "B+". Novelist Stephen King
Stephen King
Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books...

 also praised the series as "the best scripted show on TV" in his "Pop of King" column in Entertainment Weekly. National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

commentator Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Jacob Goldberg is an American conservative syndicated columnist and author. Goldberg is known for his contributions on politics and culture to , of which he is editor-at-large...

 has referred to the program as "the best show on TV" (emphasis in original) and to the character White as "a mensch
Mensch
Mensch means "a person of integrity and honor". The opposite of a "mensch" is an "unmensch" . According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, "mensch" is "someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character...

at sea." Author and Grantland.com contributor Chuck Klosterman
Chuck Klosterman
Charles John "Chuck" Klosterman is an American author and essayist who has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, and The Washington Post, and has written books focusing on American popular culture....

 named Breaking Bad the "best TV show of the past 10 years," edging out Mad Men
Mad Men
Mad Men is an American dramatic television series created and produced by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on Sunday evenings on the American cable network AMC and are produced by Lionsgate Television. It premiered on July 19, 2007, and completed its fourth season on October 17, 2010. Each...

, The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

, and The Wire
The WIRE
the WIRE is the student-run College radio station at the University of Oklahoma, broadcasting in a freeform format. The WIRE serves the University of Oklahoma and surrounding communities, and is staffed by student DJs. The WIRE broadcasts at 1710 kHz AM in Norman, Oklahoma...

. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter
Formerly a daily trade magazine, The Hollywood Reporter re-launched in late 2010 as a unique hybrid publication serving the entertainment industry and a consumer audience...

admired the show as "unquestionably one of the greatest dramas in TV history." Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine is an online publication that features reviews of movies, music, TV, DVDs, theater, and video games, as well as interviews with actors, directors, and musicians. The site covers various film festivals like the New York Film Festival.- History :...

 contributor Sarah Holcomb detailed the show as "a complete work, one thought out long in advance and unfolding in its own time. This is one of the rarest finds on television."

On the review aggregator
Review aggregator
A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services . This system stores the reviews and then uses them for purposes such as: creating a website for users to view the reviews, selling information to third parties about consumer tendencies and creating databases for...

 website Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

, the first season scored 74/100, the second season scored 85/100, the third season scored 89/100 and the fourth season scored 96/100, receiving the status of "universal acclaim".

Awards and nominations



The series has won numerous awards and nominations, including six Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

s and Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, writer and director. He is best known for his roles as Hal the father in the Fox situation comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, for which he won three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama...

 winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series three years in a row.
Overall, the show has won 16 industry awards and been nominated for a further 40.

Ratings


The first season averaged 1.2 million viewers. The second season premiere was watched by 1.7 million viewers, up 41.6% from the previous season.

The third season premiere was the highest rated episode in the series' history at that time; having been watched by 2 million viewers, with an additional 1.1 million viewers with the repeat airings later the same night, increasing 40% from the second season premiere. The rest of the third season episodes averaged between 1.2 and 1.8 million viewers.

The fourth season premiere received 2.6 million viewers, increasing 32% from the third season premiere and becoming the most-watched episode of the series.

Online promotion


An online customizable video was used to promote season one. Users would receive a webcam message from Walt urging them to live their life to the fullest, at the end of which he would score their name from a list. A fictional charity website was set up for Walter White in season two by Walter Jr. The website's donation button links to the National Cancer Coalition.

For season two, there was a viral marketing campaign in which users could experience meeting Walt from a first-person perspective. Beginning with season two, series editor Kelley Dixon posted podcasts for each episode on the official Breaking Bad website, where she would discuss the episode along with guests that included the show's writers, directors, actors, and series creator Vince Gilligan.

Season three promotion included an interactive role-playing comic designed by Nicholas Fortugno
Nicholas Fortugno
Nicholas Fortugno is an American game designer and educator. Fortugno is perhaps best known for designing Diner Dash, a top-selling casual game developed by Gamelab, and the award-winning Ayiti: The Cost of Life...

 called "The Interrogation", located on AMC's Breaking Bad website; in the game, users play Walter White's brother-in-law, Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

(DEA) Agent Hank Schrader, as he interrogates a suspect in a murder and gun-running scheme. Also released prior to season three was the Breaking Bad Criminal Aptitude Test, a personality quiz that compared the user to various criminal character types featured in the series. Season three promotion also featured an elaborate website devoted to Bob Odenkirk's character Saul Goodman. The site includes legal advice, fashion tips and customer testimonials.

Promotion for season four included an interactive role-playing comic, in which the user acts as Jesse Pinkman as he tries to recover his savings, which he had entrusted to a local money launderer who has disappeared along with the money; the game also features the characters of Badger and Saul Goodman. Also launched in season four was an Interactive Case File, a digitized version of the file Hank refers to while investigating Gale Boetticher's murder. The file includes crime scene photos, police reports and a virtual copy of Gale's lab notebook.

External links