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Friction between 'Breaking Bad' and AMC?

Actor Bryan Cranston stars in

Actor Bryan Cranston stars in "Breaking Bad." Photo Credit: AP

There's a solid report out that AMC and "Breaking Bad" are at odds over a fifth season extension and that the discussions have become so fraught that the "Bad" posse are shopping the show.

Particulars: AMC wants a very short fifth, say six to seven episodes, and "Bad" wants a full complement of 13. The odd thing is if "Bad" does go, it'll extend to additional seasons which is something creator Vince Gilligan has said he does not want. He's a five-and-done guy, which is about as rare as they get in Hollywood, where shows go on year after year to fulfill financial and commercial obligations, if not necessarily creative ones. 

How will this end up? My sense is like the budget deal -- in compromise. But it does throw a larger light on what's going on at AMC -- now an independent public network, and looking to shave costs and overhead to please investors. The deal for "Mad Men" -- to end in two seasons -- was also extremely expensive, so clearly AMC is looking to cut corners elsewhere, a reason -- possibly -- why "The Walking Dead's" co-creator Frank Darabont just left that show.

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