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Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said that he wanted to see Vince Gilligan keep Breaking Bad alive so badly that he offered $75 million to get three additional episodes. During a speech at the Mipcom TV market in Cannes, Katzenberg revealed that he even came up with a unique way of distributing the episodes.
“I had this crazy idea. I was nuts for the show. I had no idea where this season was going,” he told the crowd full of TV executives, notes Variety. “The last series cost about $3.5 million an episode. So they would make more profit from these three shows than they made from five years of the entire series.”
Katzenberg said that he approached the show’s producers with the idea six weeks ago. He suggested that the 180 minutes in total would cost $25 million-per-hour to make. But instead of airing it on TV in three episodes, it would be sliced up into six-minute shorts released over 30 days on Video on Demand, iTunes and other formats, notes Deadline.
“I said (to them), ‘I’m going to create the greatest pay-per-view television event for scripted programming anybody’s ever done,’” Katzenberg recalled.
Then Katzenberg learned about the show’s ending and decided that the idea wouldn’t work.
While he knows he won’t get his new Breaking Bad episodes, it sounds like Katzenberg is convinced that the distribution idea he hatched would still work. He said that he would have charged 50 cents to 99 cents per episode. He believes that there is an untapped potential for short-form programming “and the higher the quality of the stuff that fills it, the higher people will be paid for the work that they are doing there.”