“Breaking Bad” is making its final Emmy run this August.
The AMC series was just nominated for 16 awards. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are deservingly up for their fourth and third Emmy awards, respectively.
Now, It’s weird to imagine the show on any other network. It helped solidify the network as more than a channel that syndicated classic movies like “The Shawshank Redemption” repeatedly.
However, before the show landed on AMC, there was a time it was being shopped around to other networks.
You may have heard the stories of how FX or TNT passed on the series.
According to EW, FX feared the series was too similar to all of its other shows with male antiheroes. “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan has said two eager TNT executives loved the story pitch about a middle-aged teacher diagnosed with cancer and turning to a life of crime, but they feared getting fired from their jobs over the meth storyline and wanted to change Walter White into a counterfeiter. So much for knowing drama.
The most important story in understanding how competitive this year’s Emmy’s drama race is knowing how HBO blew its chance to air what many call one of the best shows to have ever aired on TV.
In a 2011 interview with EmmyTVLegends.org, Gilligan recalled his pitch meeting as the “worst meeting I’ve ever had.”
“The trouble with Hollywood — movies and TV — is people will leave you dangling on the end of a meat hook for days or weeks or months on end. That happened at HBO,” said Gilligan. “Like the worst meeting I ever had vs. the TNT meeting … and it was only like a day apart.”
“The woman we’re pitching to could not have been less interested — not even in my story, but about whether I actually lived or died,” added Gilligan.
When he got to the end of the pitch, he said this was her reaction:
“My agents could never even get her on the phone afterward to even say no,” said Gilligan.
The irony, is that now, in its final opportunity to take home Emmy gold “Breaking Bad” has to beat HBO’s breakout hit “True Detective,” a series that has some questioning whether it should have been labelled a drama instead of a miniseries, to win.
The entire interview with Gilligan is great. If you’re a fan of the series, you should check it out.
Gilligan begins discussing the HBO pitch after the four-minute mark.
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