New York, NY – May 7, 2008 – AMC announced today the renewal of its latest original series, Breaking Bad, for a second season of 13 episodes. The renewal expands on AMC's commitment to bring viewers cinematic original programming that complements and is supported by the network's vast library of iconic movies. From acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan (X-Files) and Sony Pictures Television, Breaking Bad follows the story of a desperate man who turns to a life of crime to secure his family's financial security. Season One of Breaking Bad premiered on AMC Sunday nights this past January.
"From critical praise to strong ratings and a devoted audience, Breaking Bad further reinforced AMC as a top producer of high-quality, distinctive television," said Charlie Collier, EVP and general manager of AMC. "Breaking Bad is a powerful, intelligent and thought-provoking series that clearly resonated with viewers and critics alike. We're excited for a second season of Breaking Bad with new and provocative storylines that will delve deeper into the next chapter in the life of Walter White."
"Breaking Bad has been such a labor of love; the pickup is validation in our belief that the viewers would embrace this show," said Jamie Erlicht, co-president, programming and production, Sony Pictures Television.
"Vince, Mark and Bryan have raised the bar to a new level, and to see their efforts recognized with this pickup shows that great writing and great acting is really what it's all about," said Zack Van Amburg, co-president, programming and production, Sony Pictures Television.
To date, Breaking Bad has reached approximately 20 million total viewers and more than 14 million households on AMC1. Overall, the series garnered a notable .90 HH rating and delivered 825,000 homes, increasing the network's 2007 primetime average by +4% and +5%, respectively.
Among the coveted 25-54 demo, all seven premiere episodes of Breaking Bad performed well: +36% stronger in both A25-54 (641,000) and M25-54 (379,000) viewers versus AMC's 2007 primetime performance.
Breaking Bad had immense appeal among Men and Adults 18-34. Delivery of M18-34 tripled AMC's 2007 primetime average by +116% and delivery among A18-34 increased by +86%.
The success of Breaking Bad, as well as other noteworthy AMC film titles, helped the network garner its most-watched quarter ever in total day, primetime, fringe and daytime across all key demo deliveries. Year over year, AMC's first quarter 2008 achieved a +4% delivery gain, and is ranked as a top 10 network among basic cable networks (#8) in primetime delivery of Men 25-54.
(1)Source: Nielsen Media Research. Live Data. NPower 75% unification, 6 minute qualifier. Reach among all telecasts of Breaking Bad on AMC 1/20-4/6/08. (2-4)Source: Nielsen Media Research. Live Data. Breaking Bad program premiere delivery performances (1/20-3/9/08) compared to AMC's 2007 (1/1-12/30/07) and 07/08 STD (10/1/07-1/19/08) primetime (M-Su 8-11p) average among A/M 25-54, 18-49, 18-34. Source: Nielsen Media Research. Live Data. AMC 1Q08 (12/31/07-3/30/08) most watched quarter in Prime (M-Su 8-11p), Daytime (M-F 10a-4p), Fringe (M-F 4-8p) and Total Day (M-Su 6a-6a) among A/M25-54 and A18-49 delivery. 1Q08 (12/31/07 – 3/30/08) vs 1Q07 (1/1-4/1/07) AMC prime growth in M25-54 delivery. Rank among all basic cable networks during prime in M25-54 delivery.
Breaking Bad debuted to tremendous critical acclaim. It has been heralded as a "must-see" (Newsday), "suspenseful and surprising" (Hollywood Reporter), and "buzz-worthy" (Los Angeles Daily News). The San Jose Mercury News declared that the series "reminds us of just how good television can be…edgy, challenging" and the Associated Press stated "here is a show that will keep the viewer guessing. Following last summer's ambitious, Golden Globe-winning drama Mad Men, AMC has further upped the ante with its second dramatic series, taking even more chances. Breaking Bad dares to be bleak, heartbreaking, shocking and bitterly funny…" Following the series' debut, Rolling Stone raved "what more proof do you need that AMC has the best dramas on cable?"
Breaking Bad is a dramatic series that follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family's financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White's releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.
The series stars Emmy-nominated veteran actor Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Little Miss Sunshine); Aaron Paul (Mission: Impossible III); Anna Gunn (Deadwood); Dean Norris (Little Miss Sunshine); Betsy Brandt (CSI); and RJ Mitte (Hannah Montana, Weeds). The pilot is executive produced by Mark Johnson (The Chronicles of Narnia, What Lies Beneath, Donnie Brasco); and the Oscar®-winning Cinematographer John Toll (The Last Samurai, Braveheart, Legends of the Fall) serves as Director of Photography.
Gilligan and Mark Johnson are executive producers for High Bridge Productions, Inc. and Gran Via Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television. AMC's Christina Wayne, SVP of Scripted Series and Miniseries, and Vlad Wolynetz, VP of Production, Series and Movies, oversee development and production for the network.
Today's announcement comes on the heels of AMC's first Golden Globe® wins for its original series Mad Men, including Best Drama and Best Actor (John Hamm), and its recently announced slate of new original series in development, including Fort Smith (Robert Cochran); Uninvited Guest (Harley Peyton); An Untitled Alison Anders Western (Alison Anders & Terry Graham); and Green Fields (Nicky Silver).
AMC is a multi-platform network that celebrates classic movies and high-quality scripted series. Among the elite services reaching over 94,000,000 homes, AMC defines what it means to be a classic movie network today, creating a distinctive viewing experience that celebrates all that is enduringly cool, personal and powerfully relevant about movies. AMC's comprehensive library of popular movies strike a meaningful chord with its audience, and its critically-acclaimed slate of originals all have a cinematic quality that allow them to complement and be complemented by some of the best movies of all time. A division of Rainbow Media Entertainment Services, AMC's sister divisions include WE tv and IFC TV. AMC is THE FUTURE OF CLASSIC.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. Sony Pictures Television also oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) domestic digital efforts across all platforms. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses, for Sony BMG and for iN DEMAND's high definition channel INHD. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.