Breaking Bad TV Series - Breaking Bad is an American crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. Set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad is the two-year-long story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine, in order to secure his family's financial future before he dies, teaming with his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The series has been labeled a contemporary western by its creator.
The series premiered on January 20, 2008 in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC, and the series finale aired on September 29, 2013. Breaking Bad received widespread critical acclaim, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. By its end, the series was among the most-watched cable shows on American television, with audience numbers that doubled in the fifth season from the previous year's episodes.
The series has won ten Primetime Emmy Awards, including three consecutive wins for Best Actor for Bryan Cranston, two wins for Best Supporting Actor for Aaron Paul, a Best Supporting Actress win for Anna Gunn, and the Outstanding Drama Series in 2013, after three nominations. The series has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and Cranston three times for Best Actor, besides being nominated four times for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor, winning once at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America named Breaking Bad the 13th best-written TV series of all time. That same year, Guinness World Records called it the highest-rated TV series of all time, citing its season 5 Metacritic score of 99 out of 100.
Breaking Bad was created by Vince Gilligan, who spent several years writing the Fox series The X-Files. Gilligan wanted to create a series in which the protagonist became the antagonist. "Television is historically good at keeping its characters in a self-imposed stasis so that shows can go on for years or even decades," he said. "When I realized this, the logical next step was to think, how can I do a show in which the fundamental drive is toward change?" He added that his goal with Walter White was to turn him from Mr. Chips into Scarface. The concept emerged as Gilligan talked with his fellow writer Thomas Schnauz regarding their current unemployment and joked that the solution was for them to put a "meth lab in the back of an RV and [drive] around the country cooking meth and making money."
Gilligan said, before the series finale, that it was difficult to write for Walter White because the character was so dark and morally questionable: "I'm going to miss the show when it's over, but on some level, it'll be a relief to not have Walt in my head anymore." Gilligan later said the idea for Walter's character intrigued him so much that he "didn't really give much thought on how well it would sell", stating that he would have given up on the premise since it was "such an odd, dark story" that could have difficulties being pitched to studios. As the series progressed, Gilligan and the writing staff of Breaking Bad made Walter increasingly unsympathetic. Gilligan said during the run of the series: "He's going from being a protagonist to an antagonist. We want to make people question who they're pulling for, and why." Cranston said by the fourth season: "I think Walt's figured out it's better to be a pursuer than the pursued. He's well on his way to badass." Gilligan defines the term "breaking bad" as "to raise hell".
While still pitching the show to studios, Gilligan was initially discouraged when he learned of the existing series Weeds and its similarities to the premise of Breaking Bad. While his producers convinced him that the show was different enough to still be successful, he later stated that he would not have gone forward with the idea had he known about Weeds earlier.