AMC might lose Breaking Bad

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Negotiations are apparently underway between cable network and AMC and Sony Television, producer of the über-riveting Breaking Bad, that might see the immensely popular show moved to another network.

Sources "with knowledge of the matter" told the Los Angeles Times that Sony has been in tentative discussions with at least three other cable networks should a deal for a fifth season on AMC fall through.

Apparently the straw that broke the camel's back was the network's insistence that that Breaking Bad's fifth season run only six to eight episodes, instead of the show's regular thirteen. Naturally, the creative team shat a brick — imagine having five to seven fewer episodes to develop your by-now notoriously deep characters and plot, five seasons in.

The discussions are apparently part of AMC's wide swath of budget cuts — Frank Darabont recently left The Walking Dead because of a per-episode budget slash of about $250,000.

Speculation is abounding that AMC is looking to cut costs on Dead and Bad because AMC flagship show Mad Men is about to get more expensive: creator Matt Weiner recently landed a new deal to stay with the program for at least another two seasons.

Ooh, network intrigue: it just gets me all a-flutter. Personally, I think AMC needs to tread carefully here — it was about four years ago that they were a channel best known for running Road House repeatedly. A couple of Emmys and they forget where they came from. For shame, AMC, for shame.