AMC’s Breaking Bad has a very loyal cult audience, and that audience has grown each season it has aired due to popularity on DVD and on streaming sites like Netflix. They are hoping to grow that audience even more with its final season by giving off-network rights to sister network the Sundance Channel, which will air back-to-back episodes from the first four seasons of the show on Monday nights beginning March 4.
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The series will follow premiere episodes of Sundance Channel original series The Staircase: Last Chance which airs on March 4th and 11th; Top of the Lake which runs from March 18th to April 15th and Rectify which airs April 22nd through May 27th.
“Breaking Bad has become a benchmark for storytelling at its finest and we are proud to air this series as we embark on our own scripted programming with the upcoming debut of Rectify, which is produced by the same incredible team behind Breaking Bad,” said Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel’s General Manager and Executive Vice President in a statement. “We are looking forward to giving viewers another opportunity to catch up with what has been called TV’s best drama.”
The final eight episodes of Breaking Bad will air beginning sometime this summer, with longtime fans clamoring for new episodes after a cliffhanger ending that has kept them waiting for nearly a year by the time the next episodes air. Those who have not seen the show up to this point will be able to get caught up on Sundance Channel, which is good news, and with the DVDs for Season Five, which will be released shortly before the new season airs.
So get started this Monday. The Sundance Channel airs on 558 on DIRECTV.
Traditionally, summertime has been the time of reruns, game shows, and the TV shows that networks knew would not succeed during the normal television watching season between fall and spring. Networks would air remaining episodes of cancelled shows, and no new quality programming would generally air between June and August.
The new television landscape, with many of the most critically acclaimed and artistically adventurous shows now airing on cable TV, has changed all of that. Now, many of the best shows currently on television have seasons airing throughout the summer, avoiding the competition of big network shows and providing an alternative to reruns and reality shows. The two most anticipated cable TV shows this summer are an old favorite and a new drama.
Let’s start with the new drama and save the best for last. Aaron Sorkin’s series “The Newsroom” debuts on HBO June 24. The series stars Jeff Daniels and focuses on the behind the scenes action at a 24-hour cable news network, and early previews have it looking like it might be a satire of the Fox News empire. Sorkin’s had success on the big screen of late, having written the screenplays for the hits “Moneyball” and “The Social Network,” but his last TV show, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” was a major disaster. Hopefully, the freedom of content available on premium cable in general and HBO in particular will mean better results from Sorkin this time around.
The fifth and final season of “Breaking Bad,” AMC’s acclaimed drama, begins July 15 and will be the highlight of the summer for many fans of serial television. The show, which began with a simple gimmick—high school chemistry teacher gets cancer, must make meth to be able to provide for his family—has turned into television’s best drama, a dark, often brutal show that shows just how bad people can be. Get the Emmys ready for stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as the show winds down its historic run.
There are plenty of other shows beginning this summer. Check out this article from the OC Register for some more listings.