What's The Deal, AMC?

Posted on August 4, 2011 

AMC has made a bunch of moves recently that one might describe as "curious."

Or very, very dumb.

The latest move is that the producers of the Emmy-worthy "Breaking Bad" -- which won't qualify for the Emmys this year thanks to AMC holding it until July in favor of "The Killing" -- haven't come to an arrangement for the number of episodes next year for the series. AMC wants to produce 6 or 8, while creator Vince Gilligan wants a full run of 13 for the series' final season.

With talks breaking down, the LA Times reported that the producers are shopping "Bad" to other networks for its final season. That'd be a huge mistake on both sides where you risk losing the show's loyal audience while the network loses one of its best series.

This news comes on the heels of the announcement that "Walking Dead" showrunner Frank Darabont has departed and AMC has cut production costs on arguably its most popular series. (I do have to point out that this season's run on the show will be 13 episodes, up from six in Season 1).

Yup, Oscar winner Frank Darabont is gone, yet showrunner Veena Sud of "The Killing," who gave us one of the worst season finales in TV history, is still with her series, planning her second season.

I really don't understand why AMC is undermining itself. After establishing itself as THE leader in great drama with "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad," other efforts -- "Rubicon" and "The Prisoner" fizzled, as did "The Killing" during its second half. My guess for next year? "The Killing's" ratings drop by half as a disgruntled viewership abandons the show like I plan to.

Now the network is playing Russian Roulette with "Breaking Bad" and "Walking Dead," alienating viewers by messing with the quality of those series.

It's the wrong move for a network that used to be the leader in quality drama.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: ABC has new installments of "Expedition Impossible" and "Rookie Blue" from 9-11 p.m.

Dane Cook guest stars on "Louie" (FX, 10:30 p.m.) which may mean the first non-funny episode of the series. It follows a new "Wilfred" at 10 p.m.

USA has new episodes of "Burn Notice" and "Suits" from 9-11 p.m.

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