Tuned In

Breaking Bad Returns for (Half of) Its Last Season July 15

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Gregory Peters / AMC

Bryan Cranston as Breaking Bad's Walter White in last season's finale

Walter White will be the one who knocks on your TV screen July 15, when Breaking Bad returns for its fifth and final season on AMC July 15. But you won’t have to say goodbye too soon, because the show will re-return for the same final season next summer: confirming what has been an open secret, the network is splitting the final run into two eight-episode chunks.

Do I like that? No. But I’ll assume that there are business reasons for AMC to milk the show’s sendoff (not unlike HBO did with the last season of The Sopranos), and in the category of “inconveniences I’ll accept to reconcile art with commerce,” it beats the hell out of, say, firing the creator and getting someone else to finish the show.

I could tell you very little about the final season even if I wanted to, but I can point you to this behind-the-scenes video AMC has posted from the set. (To spare you a pre-roll ad which apparently starts running automatically, I’m sparing from embedding it in this post.) It will not tell you much of anything about the season either, but you’ll get to see some nice lighting and camera equipment.

Oh, for those of you interested—and I don’t judge!—Hell on Wheels will be back August 12. Excerpts from the AMC press release below:

New York – May 21, 2012 – AMC announced today its summer programming slate, including the highly anticipated premiere of the first part of “Breaking Bad’s” final season on Sunday, July 15 at 10pm ET/PT. The final season of the Emmy® Award-winning and critically acclaimed drama, produced by Sony Pictures Television, consists of 16 episodes, with the first eight episodes beginning July 15 and culminating with the series’ final eight episodes next summer 2013. Also this summer, the network debuts its newest unscripted series, “Small Town Security,” on Sunday, July 15 at 11pm ET/PT and season two of the epic western “Hell on Wheels” Sunday, August 12 at 9pm ET/PT.

[Breaking Bad awards boasting redacted]

Immediately following “Breaking Bad” is AMC’s new unscripted series, “Small Town Security” (formerly “JJK Security”), which focuses on a small, family-owned private security company located in rural Georgia. Executive produced by Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver from Left/Right (“This American Life,” “Boomtown,” “Mob Wives”), season one consists of eight, half-hour episodes.

The second season of “Hell on Wheels” continues its epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), a former Confederate soldier, and his dramatic journey west as he struggles to leave his past behind. Executive produced by John Shiban (“Breaking Bad,” “The X-Files”), Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster, Uncommon Valor) and Endemol USA’s Jeremy Gold, the show depicts the traveling town known as ‘Hell on Wheels,’ a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting pot that follows and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. “Hell on Wheels” also stars Common as Elam Ferguson; Colm Meaney as Thomas “Doc” Durant; Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell; Christopher Heyerdahl as The Swede; and Robin McLeavy as Eva; Tom Noonan as Reverend Cole; Ben Esler as Sean McGinnes; Philip Burke as Mickey McGinnes; and Eddie Spears as Joseph Black Moon. The series is executive produced by Endemol USA with Entertainment One (eOne) serving as the studio. Season two consists of 10, one-hour episodes.