Jeffrey Katzenberg Planned More Breaking Bad
DreamWorks bid big for three more episodes
We've encountered some huge Breaking Bad fans in our recent travels. Jude Law, Tony Gilroy, Shane Meadows, Steven Soderbergh and... well, just about everyone else in movieland has drunk the crystal blue Kool-Aid and come up smiling. None of them, however, can hold a candle to Jeffrey Katzenberg. The DreamWorks boss, a self-proclaimed Breaking Bad "nut", has revealed that he offered Vince Gilligan an astonishing $75m to make three more episodes.
His "crazy idea" was to capitalise on the show's new-found ubiquity by airing three 90-minute episodes. According to Katzenberg, these would be broken down into six-minute chunks and aired online with viewers charged between 50 and 99 cents to access them.
"I had no idea where this season was going," he told the MIPCOM conference in Cannes. "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. I said [to them], 'I'm going to create the greatest pay-per-view television event for scripted programming anybody's ever done.'"
The idea was floated so recently - six weeks ago, according to Katzenberg - that it doesn't sound like it was ever a likely runner, even before the Netflix factor is considered. Sure enough, the show's denouement, Felina, had been long-since locked in and the idea came to naught.
Nonetheless, it's a fascinating snippet that shows Hollywood's appetite for exploiting the online viewing community. Katzenberg shared the story to illustrate his vision for the TV of the future: "I have the courage of my convictions in this. I just think that there is a whole new platform for [episodic] 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." Interestingly, Steven Soderbergh had a similarly innovative vision for the show; one he shared with Empire back in early summer.
If you're looking more Breaking Bad goodness to fill the void, this is the right place to be. It's home to arguably the world's greatest collection of Breaking Bad interviews - Gilligan, Cranston, Paul, Gunn, Esposito et al - as well as a playlist of tunes from the show and a 'What to Watch Next' guide of top telly to help take the edge off the cold turkey. Oh, and a spoiler podcast to mark the end of the show.