×

AMC, Sony make ‘Bad’ budget work

Duo eye fourth season of intense drama

Walter White lives on. AMC and Sony Pictures TV are on the verge of announcing a fourth-season pickup for “Breaking Bad.”

The intense drama series starring Bryan Cranston as a high school chemistry teacher who turns to meth manufacturing after he’s diagnosed with cancer has been a strong performer for AMC, critically and commercially. But the cost of the show presented some hurdles for the cabler and studio in coming terms on a deal for a fourth season.

“Breaking Bad” is said to cost about $3 million per episode, which is on the high end of most basic cable dramas. It’s understood that the studio and network went back and forth for some time on setting the budget for the fourth season, and on an agreement for AMC to pick up some of the tab in the case of budget overruns.

“Breaking Bad” has drawn raves from TV crix for its nuanced portrayal of the drug trade and for the work of Cranston in the lead role as White. Cranston earned the lead drama actor Emmy for the past two years for his work on the show, which was also nommed for best drama series last year.

Vince Gilligan is creator and exec producer of “Breaking Bad,” which also stars Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and Dean Norris. The show wrapped its 13-episode third season on Sunday.

Reps for Sony and AMC could not be reached for comment late Sunday.

More TV

  • Rashomon

    'Rashomon' TV Series in the Works From Amblin Television

    Amblin Television has acquired the rights to Akira Kurosawa’s acclaimed film “Rashomon” with plans to develop it as an anthology series. Each season of the 10-episode series would focus on a singular event told from multiple points of view where each of the main characters provides a unique and different perspective of the event based [...]

  • Timothy Simons

    'Veep' Star Timothy Simons to Develop Assisted-Suicide Comedy at HBO

    Timothy Simons is staying in business with HBO. Variety has learned that the “Veep” star is developing a half-hour comedy at the premium cabler titled “Exit Plans.” In the series, when assisted suicide is legalized in 2019, a man from California opens a small business helping people transition into death peacefully while struggling to keep ahold of [...]

  • Tucker Carlson

    Tucker Carlson Comes Under Advertiser Scrutiny After Immigration Remarks

    A group of advertisers say they are pulling their commercials from Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson’s 8 p.m. program, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” after remarks he made last week about immigration. The passel of sponsors includes SmileDirectClub, Nautilus Inc’s Bowflex,  Ancestry.com, NerdWallet, Indeed.com and Pacific Life Insurance. Carlson sparked the controversy during last Thursday’s broadcast, [...]

  • George Takei

    'The Terror' Season 2 Adds George Takei as Series Regular, Consultant

    George Takei has boarded “The Terror” Season 2 both as a series regular and consultant. The second season of the AMC anthology series takes place during World War II and is set, in part, in a Japanese-American internment camp. Takei himself was imprisoned in two such internment camps when he was a child. As a consultant, [...]

  • Penny Marshall Obit Dead

    Penny Marshall, 'Laverne & Shirley' Star, Director, Dies at 75

    Penny Marshall, who starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy “Laverne & Shirley” and then became a successful director, died on Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes, Variety has confirmed. She was 75. Marshall was the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 [...]

  • Goteborg's TV Drama Vision Unveils Selection

    'State of Happiness,' 'The Flatey Enigma' To Compete At Goteborg's TV Drama Vision

    “State of Happiness,” “The Flatey Enigma” and “The Inner Circle” are among the six Nordic drama series which will be presented at Goteborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision and compete for the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize. Written by Mette M. Bølstad (“Nobel”), “State of Happiness” follows four young characters who come from different [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content