Posted by David on August 2nd, 2011
According to the LA Times, negotiations in bringing the fifth (and presumably final) season of AMC’s Breaking Bad to the air next year have gone tense. On paper, this is a conflict between Sony and AMC. In reality, it’s a conflict between artistic vision and money, and unfortunately, artistic vision tends gets violated so badly that it’s left weeping by itself in the corner, cowering from human touch.
It sounds like AMC is up against a wall because one of its other hit shows, Mad Men, just got allocated a cartoonish sack of money, and now AMC is having a hard time doling out the remainder of its funds to the rest of its productions. As a result of this, there are rumors swirling around that producer/writer/director, Frank Darabont, left another of AMC’s hit shows, The Walking Dead, due to budgetary reasons. And as the LA Times is making mention here, budget is the very reason Breaking Bad negotiations are on the rocks, as AMC wanted to cut the number of episodes from thirteen down to a meager six or eight. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like artistic vision just took a one square in the jewels.
What I don’t get, since I’m not a soulless ghoul from the netherworld (read: “network executive”), is why they can’t just pony up the cash for another season. Look, I get it, you have a budget, and you can only pay for so much, but regardless of the contract you need to get worked out, you’ve already signed a contract with the viewing public. Clearly, the makers of Breaking Bad are attempting to fulfill that contract while the execs at AMC are trying to hack it off at the knees.
It probably wouldn’t piss me off so badly if it weren’t for the fact that they’ve already committed to four-fifths of the fucking thing. What the hell are you thinking, AMC? You’re going to get us all riled up by watching Walt get badder and badder, only to shut it off at the climax? It’s the whole point of the show. Why don’t you just go ahead and take the zombies out of The Walking Dead and have the remainder of Mad Men focus on Don joining a hippy commune. While you’re at it, just come to my house and smear shit on my TV.
AMC, you’ve been doing such an amazingly great job of raising television to a new plateau. You’re putting out quality, hit television, and as it turns out, when you make money from these properties, they can cost more to make. Cut back on dumb shit like The Killing, by all means, but don’t cripple successful productions because your executives can’t figure out how to budget for them. Cripple the executives.
[Source: LA Times]