Breaking Down 'Breaking Bad' | EW.com

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Breaking Down 'Breaking Bad'

An inside look at the roundtable with Cranston, creator Vince Gilligan, and the show's creative team on EW's new Sundance Channel series, ''The Writers' Room''

On pitching the show to Sony, the studio that would produce Breaking Bad
Vince Gilligan (creator) I went to Sony first, because I knew [studio executives] Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht at Sony Television and had worked with them in the past. And they signed on, inexplicably, because when they pitched it to their boss, Michael Lynton — who, to his credit, freely quotes this — he said, ”That is the single worst idea for a television show I have ever heard in my life, but I believe in you guys, so go with God.”

On what would have happened if Breaking Bad had aired on network television
Bryan Cranston (star/producer) I think if we went on a broadcast network, as Vince and the staff had envisioned it, we’d have one episode, and we’d be done…. The masses who watch broadcast television, they need a more palatable entertainment foundation. Our fans of Breaking Bad are very specific. These are people who like challenge and something that’s pungent, which we are. We are not Brie cheese — we are something that you know most people are not going to like. And there’s value to that. We’re Limburger.

On Walt proving tyo be an unusual protagonist early on
Thomas Schnauz (writer/coexec producer) What I love about the series is right away in the first season, you see Walter White does this desperate thing to earn money for his family, but he is offered money by his friends and he rejects it, which is to me unlike any other TV show.

Peter Gould (writer/coexec producer) In the beginning I thought he was going to change in response to his circumstances: It’s a story of an ordinary man put into amazing or difficult circumstances; he makes this rash decision, and then that causes him to change. What I think we all realized as we went along is that this guy was surprising us: He wasn’t just responding to circumstances, there was something in him — maybe it would have lay dormant forever if he hadn’t made that decision, and that was the struggle. It’s about a guy who keeps changing. For all of us, when we were breaking the story: Where is he now? That’s always the question.

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