Most reactions to the Breaking Bad finale were positive, and felt that creator Vince Gilligan ended his amazing series on a wonderful grace note. The show had millions of fans, but it turned out none of them loved the show as much as DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. According to Variety, Katzenberg “told an audience of TV execs at the Mipcom mart in Cannes that six weeks ago he offered to commission three extra episodes — totaling 180 minutes — of “Breaking Bad.” He offered to pay $25 million per episode, and the episodes would pick up were the series ended.
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Katzenberg wasn’t willing to offer such a gigantic sum just because he was a fan. It was also a business decision. He pointed out that the creators would make more money for these three episodes than they would have for the entire series. Already, this seems like an odd comment since Sony Pictures owns the show, and they were apparently willing to sacrifice such an enormous sum simply because they had so much respect for Gilligan’s vision? That’s a nice sentiment, but part of me believes that if this offer were truly legit, Sony would have been willing to continue the series with sock puppets if it meant $75 million.
The business model for these “three episodes” was really more of six-minute segments spread out over 30 days, and each segment would could 50 – 99 cents. “I said (to them), ‘I’m going to create the greatest pay-per-view television event for scripted programming anybody’s ever done,’ ” Katzenberg explained. There are definitely people who would pay for that.
Variety reports this offer was made before Katzeneberg knew where the storyline was headed, but again, I don’t see how that would make a difference. Crappy sequels have been done for far less.