Breaking Bad 

“It feels like a Ponzi scheme to me”: Breaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan Slams Netflix Despite Streaming Giant Saving Bryan Cranston Starrer From Cancellation

Netflix saved Breaking Bad from cancellation but Vince Gilligan has some doubts about the streaming platform.


  • Vince Gilligan revealed Netflix helped Breaking Bad gain more viewers.
  • The show’s creator questioned the system of streaming services.
  • Breaking Bad was almost cancelled after Season 3.

Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan expressed his honest thoughts about streaming platforms, especially Netflix which picked up and gave his show the boost it needed. While the creator is thankful that the streaming giant helped save the show from an impending cancellation, he also questioned its system.

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad

Gilligan said that AMC took a gamble with Breaking Bad, but despite the series’ initial success, it still struggled to keep its viewership. Netflix added the first three seasons to its library, and it was just the massive shot it needed to attract viewers again.

Vince Gilligan Criticized Streaming Platforms Despite Breaking Bad’s Success On Netflix

In his interview with Variety for the Breaking Bad series finale’s 10th anniversary, creator Vince Gilligan revealed Netflix helped revive the series by gaining more viewers after fans became less enthusiastic about the show as evident in its plummeting viewership. He stated:

Streaming, as practiced by Netflix, rode in like the cavalry at the last minute and kept our show going. Streaming is wonderful on that level, and it’s a wonderful convenience to watch any show you want instantly.”

Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan

Still, Gilligan shared his doubts about streaming platforms. Netflix definitely pioneered the trend, and since then, a lot of other brands have sprouted:

Netflix kind of invented this system of streaming, and everyone else had to pile in, to the detriment of the previous system. The whole thing feels like it’s teetering and about to collapse. Strike or no strike, who knows how this thing progresses?

While Netflix gave Breaking Bad another shot, he likened streaming services to a fraud system where there is simply no guarantee that it will keep its success to the end. Gilligan further shared:

I don’t understand the system, but sometimes it feels like a Ponzi scheme to me. It’s all way beyond my paygrade, but there’s a lot of unrest in the labor world because people are looking around and saying, ‘How is this going to work in the long term?’ Maybe it won’t.”

Streaming media such as Netflix and many others helped make a lot of movies and shows accessible to the public. Now that it is at the height of its popularity, many directors and producers are taking advantage of it.

Breaking Bad Was Almost Cancelled After Season 3

Breaking Bad - 2
Breaking Bad

Vince Gilligan admitted to Esquire that, even from the beginning, Breaking Bad was a show that was not for everyone. He struggled to find a studio that would handle the franchise. He said:

Breaking Bad didn’t get a ‘no’ from everybody in town, only because we were smart enough not to pitch to everybody in town. I figured this was not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, so it really wasn’t surprising that the show got turned down a lot.”

AMC took a chance on it and turned it into a cult-favorite classic show, but it’s not always a victory party. The series was on the verge of cancellation after its third season. FX took an interest in the project, and when AMC learned about this, they renewed Breaking Bad for Season 4.

The real shift took place when Netflix finally aired the first three seasons, inviting a horde of new and old audiences and making Breaking Bad more popular than ever.

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