A week and a half after the finale of the Emmy-winning AMC drama series "Breaking Bad," news surfaced that Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg offered "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan and his crew $75 million to make three more episodes.
Vanity Fair reports that the additional episodes would have picked up where the finale left off. (Spoiler alert: If you haven’t yet watched the finale and don’t want to know what happens in it, you may not want to read on — although we’ve toned down the reveal from what Vanity Fair reports.)
"Katzenberg revealed his zany master plan in Cannes today, while delivering a speech to television executives at the annual TV-and-entertainment market Mipcom," Vanity Fair reports. The piece quotes Katzenberg saying: “I had this crazy idea. I was nuts for the show. I had no idea where this season was going.”
Vanity Fair adds: "Alas, Katzenberg wanted to heave cash barrels at Gilligan not because of his own love for the series, or because of his valiant desire to give the world closure on the Huell-subplot front. Katzenberg was ready to heave cash barrels at Gilligan to create more cash barrels."
Said Katzenberg: “The last series cost about $3.5 million an episode.” He then added: “So they would make more profit from these three shows than they made from five years of the entire series.”
Vanity Fair reports: "Katzenberg’s plan involved spreading the new ‘Breaking Bad’ content over 30 days by making six-minute increments available via a pay-per-view platform."
Said Katzenberg: “I said [to them], ‘I’m going to create the greatest pay-per-view television event for scripted programming anybody’s ever done." He would have charged between 50 and 99 cents for each mini-installment, Vanity Fair reports, adding: "The aspiring ‘Breaking Bad’ dealer soon discovered that his idea would be negated by the writing staff’s plan to close the series on … a conclusive note."
The piece adds: "Although three more episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’ sounds brilliant on paper, the idea of having to experience those bonus episodes in six-minute fragments sounds like unreasonably cruel punishment for viewers. Just because the plan did not work for ‘Breaking Bad’ does not mean that Katzenberg is giving up on this business strategy, though."
Said Katzenberg: “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.”