Breaking Bad is an American television drama series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The series is broadcast in the United States and Canada on the cable network AMC. It premiered on January 20, 2008. The series is scheduled to air a total of 62 episodes concluding on September 29, 2013.
Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad revolves around Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher with a teenage son who has cerebral palsy (RJ Mitte), and a pregnant wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn). When the already tense White is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he breaks down and turns to a life of crime, producing and selling crystal methamphetamine with his former student, Jesse (Aaron Paul), in a desire to secure his family's financial future while avoiding detection from his DEA agent brother-in-law, Hank (Dean Norris).
Breaking Bad has received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its writing and Cranston's performance on the show, and has won several Emmy Awards, including three consecutive Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series wins for Bryan Cranston as well as an Outstanding Supporting Actor win for Aaron Paul.
The series is set and filmed in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico. The AMC network, on which the series premiered January 20, 2008, originally ordered nine episodes for the first season (including the pilot), but the Writers Guild of America strike limited the production to seven episodes.
Lead actor Bryan Cranston stated in an interview that: "The term 'breaking bad' is a southern colloquialism and it means when someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow, when they've gone wrong. And that could be for that day or for a lifetime."
Chemical Elements in the CreditsEdit
The credits feature symbols of chemical elements from the Periodic Table in green (for example, the symbols Br and Ba for bromine and barium in Breaking Bad). The credits at the beginning of the show usually continue this, with cast members' names usually including one chemical element symbol if appropriate.
The opening credits also feature the formula C10H15N which is repeated several times in each frame that it appears. This is the molecular formula for methamphetamine. It indicates that each molecule contains 10 carbon atoms, 15 hydrogen atoms and one nitrogen atom.
The number 149.24 is also repeated in the introduction, which is the molecular mass of the methamphetamine compound.
- Read more about episode titles at Episode Title Meanings.
Breaking Bad's episode titles typically relate to the events of the episode, a quote from another source, or a common expression. For example, the episode title "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal" is taken from the movie Fargo, and also reflects how Walt is trying to impose his will on the drug business and hopes not to resort to violence.
The episode names of the first, fourth, tenth, and thirteenth episodes of Season 2 form a sentence which reveals an event that takes place in the season finale (737-Down-Over-ABQ). These episodes all include a mysterious opening teaser in black and white, featuring a scorched pink teddy bear floating in a pool. Several episode titles are also in Spanish, a reference to Hispanic culture in New Mexico as well as the influence of Mexican drug cartels in the story.
An online customizable video was used to promote season one. Users would receive a webcam message from Walt urging them to live their life to the fullest, at the end of which he would score their name from a list. The promotion is still live at www.waltswisdom.com. A viral marketing campaign has also been produced for season two, users can experience meeting Walt from a first-person perspective. The promotion is located at www.waltswarning.com. The charity website set up for Walter White in Season 2 by Walter Jr is also available at www.savewalterwhite.com. Promotion for season three includes an elaborate website devoted to Bob Odenkirk's character "Saul Goodman". The site includes legal advice, fashion tips, customer testimonials and more. It is located at www.bettercallsaul.com.
Breaking Bad has received critical acclaim in addition to numerous awards and nominations, including six Emmy Awards and Bryan Cranston winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series three years in a row.
The third season premiere was the highest rated episode in the series' history at that time; having been watched by 2 million viewers, with an additional 1.1 million viewers with the repeat airings later the same night, increasing 40% from the second season premiere. The rest of the third season episodes averaged between 1.2 and 1.8 million viewers.
The fourth season premiere received 2.6 million viewers, increasing 32% from the third season premiere. The fifth season premiere received 2.9 million viewers, ranking it as the most-watched premier of the series. The most watched episode of the series is "Say My Name" with 2.98 million viewers, the seventh episode of the fifth season.