Executive: ‘This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable’
James Gibbered writes: If you feel like there’s an overwhelming number of TV series options, there’s a very good reason for that.
“The unprecedented increase in the number of scripted series has reached a new milestone in 2015 with a record 409, nearly doubling the total in just the past six years.”
FX has calculated that in 2015 networks and streaming services had a record 409 dramas, comedies and limited series — and that’s not even including unscripted shows or TV movies. Digging into the data, the number of scripted series this year was up 9 percent over 2014, and has doubled since 2009 — while network ratings have, on average, declined.
“This was the third consecutive year that scripted series count has grown across each distribution platform – broadcast, basic and pay cable, streaming — led by significant gains in basic cable and digital services.”
“The unprecedented increase in the number of scripted series has reached a new milestone in 2015 with a record 409, nearly doubling the total in just the past six years,” said Julie Piepenkotter, executive vice president of research for FX Networks.
“This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable from where they were a decade ago.”
“This was the third consecutive year that scripted series count has grown across each distribution platform – broadcast, basic and pay cable, streaming — led by significant gains in basic cable and digital services. This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable from where they were a decade ago.”
If you assume each show is 13 hours (which is really conservative given that many hour-long broadcast dramas have 22-episode seasons), that would mean there were 5,317 hours of potential scripted TV to watch this year. Read the rest of this entry »
Alyssa Norwin reports: Jon Hamm finally had his big Emmy Awards moment! The 44-year-old won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, making it his first win at the show. And it was perfect timing, too, as this was Mad Men‘s last year of nomination eligibility since its series finale aired on May 17!
It’s about time!! Jon was so excited when it was announced he finally won an Emmy, that he didn’t even take the time to walk the long way up to the stage, and instead, opted to hop right on up from the front. But all jokes were cast aside when he got to the microphone, and emotionally and graciously accepted the honor, praising his fellow nominees in the process.
Jon has been nominated for this award every year since 2008, but has never taken home the trophy…until now! Read the rest of this entry »
Muncie – Last evening, just after 11:30 p.m., members of the Pendleton District Meth Suppression Team were contacted by employees of the Wal-Mart located at 1501 E. 29th. St. in Muncie reference a suspicious backpack in the men’s rest room.
When troopers entered the rest room located at the front of the store, they found a backpack with an active meth lab inside. Members of the team donned their protective respirators and suits and dismantled the lab, removing the chemicals from the premises.
The health department was called in for an inspection as is required by law. They deemed that both the men’s and women’s rest rooms would have to remain closed until they could be professionally decontaminated by a company specializing in Meth decontamination. The investigation into who left the backpack is ongoing.
With warm weather approaching and outside activities increasing, so does the potential for people to encounter toxic and hazardous meth trash or a working meth lab left unattended.
Rather than the Meth cook blowing up or contaminating their house, they are now often leaving behind the deadly explosive chemicals in public places to return later to get the finished product. They will often times dump their trash, which includes Sudafed blister packs; Liquid Fire drain cleaner bottles, battery casings, and plastic drink bottles with white residue in the bottom, in rural or desolate areas, or in alleys or vacant lots.
The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section wants to remind citizens that these labs and meth lab trash contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, and acidic. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into direct contact with the skin. The chemical fumes can cause permanent damage to organs and the nervous system. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 9, 2015
— Mashable (@mashable) December 3, 2014
What worked for Breaking Bad might not work for Mad Men
AMC unveiled the first half of Mad Men‘s split final seventh season to the lowest debut audience since the show’s second year. But unlike the cable network’sBreaking Bad — which climbed in the ratings with every season, including its similarly split two-year final run — only 2.3 million viewers watched Don Draper’s return Sunday night at 9 p.m. The acclaimed period drama then had two repeats for a grand total of 4.4 million. This marked the first of seven episodes that will air this year, with the final seven planned for 2015.
AMC pointed out to reporters that Mad Men is “the most upscale show on ad-supported television among adults 18-49, and sees significant time-shifting activity.” The network also noted these numbers are not far off from the sixth season’s average.
Good news, via popgoescultureblog:
For the record, I’m among those that question AMC’s decision to split the final season. To me, it smacks of either artistic vanity, or business concerns trumping loyal audience. I understand it’s a demanding show to produce, and maintain the extraordinary quality, so it benefits the creator and his crew. I’m inclined to think that AMC’s got a valuable property, they know it, and they’re milking more advertising dollars out of Mad Men. Enjoying a more relaxed writing and shooting schedule isn’t likely the primary driver of season-splitting decision.
[For collectors, Amazon has Mad Men: Seasons 1-4]
If the final episodes can be delivered with as much audience-pleasing closure as Breaking Bad, these complaints will dissolve. The show is already on track to become an enduring TV masterpiece.
The last half of season 5 of the Emmy-winning drama finished its run last fall on AMC. Series, which stars Bryan Cranston as a New Mexico teacher turned crystal-meth overlord, is produced by Sony Pictures Television.
Okay so Aubrey Lee Price isn’t a teacher-turned meth-cooking criminal mastermind bent on building an empire, leaving a trail of dead bodies in his murderous wake, like fictional character Walter White. But he is an example of a white-collar average joe who went dark. No longer content with middle-class aspirations and conventional morality, Price used his professional knowledge for criminal gain, embezzled a fortune, and tried to go off the grid. With millions stolen from investors, Price attempted to screw the system by pretending to be dead.
This meets punditfromanotherplanet’s standard, and serves as a working definition of a real life Breaking Bad scenario. Do you know of any Breaking Bad situations that happened in real life? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ Bynum (AP) reports: A former Georgia banker accused of stealing millions from investors before vanishing for 18 months pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal bank fraud charges and agreed to remain jailed without bond pending trial.
Aubrey Lee Price, 47, didn’t speak as he sat hunched between his court-appointed lawyer and an attorney who’s a family friend and has agreed to assist with his case for free. Though prosecutors say he misspent, embezzled and lost $21 million, Price was able to show the court that he doesn’t have enough money to hire a lawyer, said U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith.
Authorities say Price faked financial records in an attempt to cover his tracks before he disappeared in June 2012. He sent letters to his family and acquaintances saying he was “incapable of continuing in this life” and other strong hints that he planned to commit suicide. A Florida judge declared Price dead a year ago. Meanwhile, the Montgomery Bank & Trust, a rural bank near Vidalia at which Price served as a director since 2010, closed because its assets and reserves were depleted.
Hillary Busis writes: Sure, DVDs and Netflix have sort of ruined the fun of a good, old-fashioned scheduled TV marathon. (They’re not exactly special when you have the power to make them happen any time.) But it’s still hard not to get excited about AMC showing all 62 episodes of Breaking Bad over the course of four days — even if the network totally missed the opportunity to call this marathon “Four Days In.”
Never seen an episode of Breaking Bad? You’re gonna want to watch this. Devoured every episode of Breaking Bad multiple times already? You’re still gonna want to watch it, or at least part of it. But when should you pay close attention, when should you keep one eye on the TV and another on your laundry — and when should you order the chicken? Worry not; EW’s got you covered. (All times are ET/PT)
Lawrence Meyers writes: What is it about Hannibal Lecter, Tony Soprano and Walter White that makes us root for them? How is it that a cannibalistic serial killer, a sociopathic mob boss, and a ruthless drug kingpin became the protagonists in three hugely successful pieces of media over the past 20 years?
If you watched Silence of the Lambs in a movie theater in 1991, odds are that at the end of the film, when Hannibal intimates that he’ll be exacting revenge on his jailer, Dr. Chilton, you heard the audience cheer and applaud. I sat in stunned silence. During the course of Jonathan Demme’s outstanding film, we had been told that Lecter had disfigured a nurse; that he killed a man and ate his liver (with some fava beans and a nice Chianti); he talked Multiple Miggs into swallowing his own tongue; and brutally murdered two police officers and two ambulance medics.
Despite all this–and remember we actually witnessed this guy bite a cop’s face and brutally beat him to death with a baton–the audience cheers as he stalks Chilton into a Jamaican resort.
Now, part of that moment is that Chilton is so insufferable in his brief amount of screen time that it’s kind of like poetic justice. Yet, it really isn’t. Chilton enjoys playing the tormentor–but he’s tormenting a cannibalistic serial killer. How is that poetic justice? Chilton isn’t the villain! Lecter is!
Frances Martel writes: A nation wallowing in Breaking Bad withdrawal received some light relief last week when Univisión released the first images of its Colombian remake of the television masterpiece, Metástatsis. Here’s why you, English speaker, should be excited.
The latest trailer shows many scenes iconic to fans of the original: Walter Blanco driving his roving meth lab in his tighty-whities, Hank Schrader busting Jesse’s cooking partner Emilio with the Colombian equivalent of the DEA, and even Walt Jr. getting picked on for his handicap at a clothing store. You can watch the trailer below:
Releasing the trailer in English indicates that Univision hopes to draw at least some eyeballs of the curious American variety, likely providing closed captioning subtitles for non-Hispanophones. Beyond that, however, there are a number of signs that Univisión is looking to do this remake right, and not just sell a telenovela version of a beloved drama.
1. The Actors Are Very, Very Good
When Univisión first announced the remake, I immediately feared the worst: a sappy tearjerker starring Saúl Lisazo as Walter White and Niurka Marcos as Skyler (just trust me on this: those people are horrible actors). The casting forMetástasis, however, appears to be stellar.
Diego Trujillo will be playing Sr. Blanco—a theater, film, and telenovela actor best known for his role in El Capo, a gritty crime story that signaled a sea change in the way Spanish-language television presented their dramas. While El Capo still fell in the telenovela genre, it resembled American dramas much more than the Mexican romances audiences were used to and targeted a young, male demographic. No one in Latin American TV has a better shot at getting Walter White right. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by juliewbp, Reviewed by Andrew
Difficult Men by Brett Martin is a great exploration of TV’s Third Golden Age, as it’s come to be known. On the cover is Tony Soprano and Walter White so the reader would be easily tricked into thinking that the book is about the anti-hero that dominates current TV. It is actually about the men who created these characters.
David Chase, creator of the Sopranos, is portrayed as a very serious and depressed failed filmmaker. He never gave TV any pedestal and always saw himself as an auteur like his French film making idols. He worked on numerous TV shows before he got his shot to truly change television when HBO green lighted the Sopranos. Since then, nothing has been the same. Read the rest of this entry »
Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz views the finale as a “Dickensian reckoning,” a Christmas Carol with Walt as the bitter ghost Marley, wandering around shaking his chains and recriminations at everyone:
In scene after scene, Walt doesn’t so much enter significant spaces as materialize within them … It all feels a bit like karmic punishment expressed via clever compositions — as if Breaking Bad itself has had enough of Walter and is shunning him.
It’s an interesting take, but I can’t help but read a little bit of wishful thinking into his contention that it’s impossible to say Walt won. Well, I mean, sure, he dies, and he’s disgraced in the eyes of his family. There’s nothing clean. But for a half-season that basically sapped Walt of all his strengths, revealed him to not be quite as effective a knocker as he thought he was, Walt was pretty reinvigorated for one last hurrah. Though he didn’t get what he was aiming for at that fateful pool party, he did get all of his dark side’s desires — his family has money, everyone knows his name, he killed those dastardly Nazis. Seitz sees Walter’s admission to Skyler that he “did this for me” as a confession, and if it is, well, what more would he actually want?
Or, as Slate’s Willa Paskin puts it:
After everything Walt had done, he couldn’t just walk away, but he was permitted to make as much right as possible
AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” one week after picking up the top Emmy drama prize, capped its meteoric ratings rise Sunday by surging to series highs in its finale — despite facing formidable season premieres on ABC, CBS, Fox and Showtime.
There was no stopping fans from watching the show live Sunday (or at least same-night, thanks to DVRs), as the conclusion to Walter White’s odyssey was watched by an average audience of 10.3 million, according to Nielsen, up 3.7 million (or 56%) from its penultimate episode of the previous week (6.6 million). Read the rest of this entry »
In the final hours leading up to Sunday’s highly-anticipated Breaking Bad series finale, there are a few things you could do. You could attempt to binge-watch the entire series up to this point. You could take this extremely comprehensive quiz to see just how much of a super-fan you are. Or, you could get yourself to Albuquerque to try an awesome Breaking Bad-themed treat.
A local shop called Rebel Donut has cooked up a few special items dedicated to the hit AMC drama. The most popular? A frosted doughnut topped with candy crystals that look exactly like the blue meth featured on the show. Even Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul himself has given these treats a try, and he definitely seems to approve: Read the rest of this entry »
Jonah Goldberg writes: Last night’s Emmys were terrible. The lavish dance numbers, the painfully lame jokes, the creepy gay double entendre from Michael Douglas, when he accepted an Emmy for his even creepier portrayal of Liberace, made for a ploddingly unentertaining evening. And Jeff Daniels’s win for best actor in a drama series for his work in HBO’s faux-highbrow Newsroom was so ridiculous only an MSNBC roundtable could applaud it.
But they got at least one thing right: AMC’s Breaking Bad won best dramatic series on television. If you haven’t seen the show, AMC will run the entire series this week in a marathon leading up to the series finale. You should watch or record it. It not only represents something new in the history of television, it represents a categorical improvement in the very nature of television. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday the New York Times broke the news that the final season of Mad Men will be broadcast in two parts (see more on this here). This isn’t the first time that a television series has been split into two – AMC recently adopted the same strategy for Breaking Bad which saw a gap of almost a year between the first half and the last half of the final fifth season. Nor is this necessarily even a recent trend – HBO notably broadcast the final season of The Sopranos (1999-2007) in a similar manner. In that instance, the decision to split the season into two was arguably more of an afterthought, as the series’ creator David Chase later decided that he wanted the opportunity to “round out the story”. But it’s not just TV (as the HBO slogan goes), this happens in cinema too. Franchises such as Harry Potter (2001-2011) and Twilight (2008-2012) have both recently featured two-part endings in concluding their narratives. The logic behind the two-part conclusion, whether it’s in film or television, is no doubt financially motivated. Indeed, why not draw out the story in two parts and reap the financial rewards? In the case of cinema, this form of serialisation is intended to increase box office takings (presumably people who saw part one will want to see part two), while in television the money comes from subscription fees and advertising. This economic gain may be the main impetus for this trend, but I’m more interested in the way that these patterns of distribution might impact upon the programme’s narrative. Read the rest of this entry »
From Illo Confidential –With the final season of Breaking Bad premiering last night, we thought it would be the perfect time to showcase some of Illo Confidential’s Breaking Bad inspired illustrations, featuring work by Brian Taylor, Kelsey Dake, Mike Freiheit, Alex Fine, Kyle T. Webster & PJ McQuade. Tread lightly, & enjoy! More @ Illo Confidential
While Walter White cooks meth on Breaking Bad, the Riverhill Coffee Bar in Glasgow, Scotland has been cooking up a heap of trouble.
Late last week, the shop’s chef made three batches of Breaking Bad-inspired cupcakes topped with cracked blue sugar, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the blue crystal meth that White (played by Bryan Cranston) cooks up on the wildly popular AMC series. Now a local anti-drug group and at least one Glasgow-based politician are arguing that selling the blue candy-topped treats is tantamount to glamorizing drugs and that the bakery is being insensitive to the plight of families affected by drug use. “The cafe might try to pass it off as a joke, but I don’t think it’s funny,” Green Party city center counselor Nina Baker told the Evening Times. Christine Duncan, chief executive of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, told the Times: “The glamorising of drugs is completely distasteful.”