CANNES — Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation, told an audience of TV execs at the Mipcom mart in Cannes that six weeks ago he offered to commission three extra episodes — totaling 180 minutes — of “Breaking Bad.” He offered to pay $25 million per episode, he said.
The episodes would continue from where the show ended.
“I had this crazy idea. I was nuts for the show. I had no idea where this season was going,” he said during the keynote session at Mipcom.
“The last series cost about $3.5 million an episode. So they would make more profit from these three shows than they made from five years of the entire series,” he said.
He explained that he had intended to show the extra content as six-minute segments over 30 days online.
“I said (to them), ‘I’m going to create the greatest pay-per-view television event for scripted programming anybody’s ever done,’ ” he explained.
He planned to charge viewers from around 50 cents to 99 cents per episode.
However, this was before Katzenberg knew where the “Breaking Bad” creative team were taking the storyline, which meant his idea was a non-starter.
Katzenberg told the anecdote to illustrate his belief in the commercial potential of short-form content online.
“I share the story with you only to tell you that I have the courage of my convictions in this. I just think that there is a whole new platform for (short form) entertainment … and the higher the quality of the stuff that fills it, the higher people will be paid for the work that they are doing there,” he said.
DreamWorks Animation bought YouTube entertainment network AwesomenessTV for $33 million at the end of April.