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April 23, 2014

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'Treme' Actor Michael Showers Found Dead in Mississippi River

by Alex Moaba, posted Aug 25th 2011 10:20AM
'Treme' is a show that portrays the struggle and hardship that befell New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Yesterday, a real-life tragedy struck 'Treme.'

Michael Showers, who played New Orleans homicide Captain John Guidry on the HBO drama, was found dead in the Mississippi River Wednesday morning. The actor was 45 years old.

A steamboat captain saw Showers' body floating in the river near New Orleans' French Quarter and called the authorities. The police told the New Orleans Times-Picayune his body had been in the water for nearly two days. No official cause of death has yet been determined.

The death is eerily reminiscent of on-screen suicide that occurred in Season 1 of the show, when John Goodman's character Creighton Bernette killed himself by jumping off a steamboat into the Mississippi.

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'Breaking Bad' and TV's Latest Trend: The Incredible Shrinking Television Season

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 23rd 2011 1:00PM
'Breaking Bad's' renewal is old news, of course, but I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to weigh in.

In any event, the most noteworthy thing about the renewal isn't the fact that the show is going away. Vince Gilligan, 'Breaking Bad's' creator, has said for some time that he doesn't want the taut, terrific drama to overstay its welcome, and that's a laudable idea.

No, the most noteworthy thing about 'Breaking Bad's' exit plan is that it fits into a pattern I like to call the Incredible Shrinking Television Season. AMC hasn't confirmed this, but credible news reports have said that the final season of 'Breaking Bad' is likely to be shown over the course of two years, in chunks of around eight episodes or so.

If that happens, we'll be getting two semi-shrunken seasons, which fits in with what's been happening to a lot of scripted shows, mostly on cable but also on the broadcast networks. The standard episode order for a new or returning cable show used to be 13 episodes, but now it almost seems as though that's the exception, not the rule.

This concerns me.

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Jesse Helps Mike Track Some Missing Meth on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 22nd 2011 6:14AM
'Breaking Bad' - 'Cornered'Walt keeps pushing and he keeps finding out that he can only get away with so much. Gus has his own agenda on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC), and as important as Walt is to the drug empire he's built, he's not going to allow Walt any more leverage over him than he must.

Gus is cold in a way that Walt can't comprehend, though he tried to put on a show of how tough he could be for Skyler. All that did was drive her away, and when she came back, she put him right back in his place ... beneath her heel.

Meanwhile, Jesse is apparently genuinely impressing Gus now, which will only further drive the wedge between Jesse and Walt. Of course, this was Gus' only intention in the beginning, but now it looks like he may be coming to see Jesse as someone who could genuinely be of value to his organization on his own.

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'Breaking Bad': Jesse the ... Hero? (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 15th 2011 7:37AM
'Breaking Bad' - 'Shotgun'Gus' silent approach to dealing with his drug empire seems to permeate down the ranks on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC). No one questions him, no one talks to him if he doesn't want to talk, and apparently his henchmen don't talk either. The tactic does a great job of leaving the viewer just as in the dark as Walter and Jesse most of the time.

We feel that same sense of helplessness and frustrated confusion at every turn. Mike drove Jesse around for hours with no explanation. When Walter refused to cook without his partner, Gus sent in a new partner who couldn't even tell Walter that's why he was there. He had to let Walt figure it out.

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AMC Reaches Renewal Deal to Extend 'Breaking Bad' for Final 16 Episodes

by Alex Moaba, posted Aug 15th 2011 12:30AM
Walter White may still have to live in a state of perpetual paranoia, but fans of 'Breaking Bad' can rest easy.

AMC has reached a deal to extend its critically-acclaimed meth-drama 'Breaking Bad' for a final 16 episode season, the network announced Sunday. The agreement comes several weeks after renewal talks stalled between AMC and the show's producer, Sony TV, when AMC floated the idea of cutting the 'Bad''s fifth and final season down to six or eight episodes.

The deal ensures that 'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan will have enough time to fully chronicle Walter White's descent from chemistry teacher into a Meth-cooking drug kingpin.

"It's a funny irony -- I'd hate to know the date of my own last day on earth, but I'm delighted to know what Walter White's will be (episodically speaking). This is a great gift to me and to my wonderful writers," Gilligan said in a statement from AMC. "It's knowledge which will allow us to properly build our story to a satisfying conclusion. Now, if we don't manage to pull that off, we've got no one to blame but ourselves."

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Jesse Continues to Spiral Downward on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 8th 2011 9:20AM
Could this be the beginning of the end for Jesse on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC)?

He's living in squalor, surrounded by addicts and homeless hangers-on, and he seems to have lost his grip on reality.

Unfortunately for him, his bad behavior caught the attention of the hard-as-nails Mike who sees him as a liability and who thinks he should be taken down.

As a test, Mike confronted Jesse with a bloodied, trussed-up man lying on his basement floor, saying that the guy had stolen Jesse's money. Jesse didn't even blink. He just picked up the money and stumbled to the stairs. When Mike hinted that he was going to kill the guy, Jesse just shrugged.

He then taunted Mike, saying "Is the point where I'm supposed to beg you not to do it? ... I'm supposed to promise, cross my heart, and straighten up?"

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'Mad,' 'Bad' and 'Walking' Into the Headlines: An AMC Timeline

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 4th 2011 2:00PM
It feels as though AMC's scripted fare has been part of the TV landscape forever, but it's worth noting that Don Draper and 'Mad Men' only arrived on our TV screens four years ago.

As Don well knows, hitting the big time can create its own set of problems. As AMC has dealt with the challenges that success brings, it has endured a roller-coaster ride of conflict and controversy, especially in recent months.

Here's the short version of AMC's recent history, a companion piece to our interview with network President Charlie Collier.

June 25, 2006: The miniseries 'Broken Trail' debuts and garners a very impressive 9.7 million viewers for the channel.

July 19, 2007: 'Mad Men' debuts, goes on to win dozens of awards and reside at or near the top of most critics' yearly Top 10 lists.

Jan. 20, 2008: 'Breaking Bad' debuts, and after an uneven strike-shortened first season, eventually joins 'Mad Men' as one of the most critically acclaimed shows on TV.

Early 2009: In a ritual that would be repeated two years later, negotiations between 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner and AMC become public and acrimonious, but he eventually signs on to do Seasons 3 and 4 of the show.

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AMC President Charlie Collier Addresses the 'Breaking Bad' & 'Walking Dead' Controversies

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 4th 2011 1:50PM
The Walking Dead The AMC network has followed a trajectory not unlike that of Don Draper, the ad man at the center of 'Mad Men.'

AMC's first two dramas, 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad,' have been showered with acclaim, and the network had a huge hit last fall with the zombie chronicle 'The Walking Dead.' But just as Don Draper's image took a hit in the fourth season of 'Mad Men,' AMC has been enduring its own share of troubles during the past year. A timeline of AMC's ups and downs is here, but suffice to say, controversies over of 'Breaking Bad,' 'Mad Men,' 'The Walking Dead' and 'The Killing' make for a change from a few years of glowing coverage of the network's rapid ascent.

Charlie Collier, AMC's president, has a theory on why some of these things are happening this year. In a Thursday interview, he said it's partly due to the fact that the network has "a higher profile" these days. As he noted, AMC has "been in the business a relatively finite amount of time."

Having a higher profile sometimes makes you a bigger target, a fact that Don Draper and 'Breaking Bad's' Walt White know well. AMC is learning that too. As Collier said. "It's very difficult to live at a time where soundbites are perceived to be facts."

In the interest of not just providing soundbites, I asked Collier an array of questions about challenges facing the network -- and some of those big-picture challenges preceded its recent troubles. In the interview below, Collier addressed the ongoing negotiations over 'Breaking Bad's' final season or seasons, talked about 'The Walking Dead' situation and discussed what the network's goals are in the long term.

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'Breaking Bad' in Crisis as Talks Stall Between Producers and AMC

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 2nd 2011 5:45AM
'Breaking Bad' Season 4It's been a drama-filled summer off-screen at cable network AMC and now comes news that 'Breaking Bad' is the latest series to run into trouble.

According to 'The Los Angeles Times,' renewal talks for Season 5 of the critically acclaimed drama have reached an impasse after AMC wanted to cut the number of epsiodes from 13 to six or eight.

Last week Sony studios reportedly started shopping the series around, sending feelers out to at least three other cable networks about taking 'Breaking Bad' should an agreement with AMC fall through.

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Marie's Kleptomania Returns on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 1st 2011 3:45PM
Marie (Betsy Brandt) steals, and then scolds a real estate agent on 'Breaking Bad' Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt) of 'Breaking Bad' (Sundays, 10PM on AMC) has had problems with stealing things before. Back in season one, she shoplifted a tiara for Skyler's daughter and underwent therapy for kleptomania. The habit returned on Sunday's episode, which found Marie making multiple appointments for open houses, lying about her identity, and helping herself to souvenirs.

As Marie was leaving one house, she was confronted by a real estate agent who accused her of stealing a spoon at a previous open house. The agent said she had called the police and called Marie a thief. "You'd better just back off, okay?" Marie said, and then dragged Hank into the conflict. "My husband is a DEA agent."

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Walter Tries to Pull Mike to His Side Against Gus on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 25th 2011 3:05AM
'Breaking Bad' - 'Thirty-Eight-Snub'Here's the deal on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC). Mike is one scary dude. Gus is something even beyond that. Walter White? He's on his way to being a bad***, but he's just not there yet. He has the will. He even has a gun now. But he's just not intimidating enough yet. At least not to these people.

Not that we think he was going for intimidation when he approached Mike in a bar and essentially begged him to put him in a room with Gus. Instead, he tried to play on Mike's human, compassionate side, which is a side none of us have seen. He also tried to use what Gus did to Vince to equate his and Mike's situation.

But Mike is a loyal man, and apparently that loyalty does not know an end. We're sure there's more lurking under the surface, but we haven't been privy to it yet. We have a feeling, however, that Mr. White isn't going to "learn to take yes for an answer," as Mike suggested.

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Aaron Paul Used to Crash Kimmel's Show Two to Three Times Per Week (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 19th 2011 6:02AM
Aaron Paul, 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'If Aaron Paul looks really comfortable when he's on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (Weeknights, 12AM ET on ABC), it's because he's been there a few times before. Long before 'Breaking Bad' made him an Emmy-winning actor, he had a connection at the studio.

"I befriended a security guard," he explained. Kimmel was blown away when Paul admitted he was probably there two to three nights a week, until a producer finally asked him why he was there all the time.

"Have you seen that security guard who snuck you in here," Kimmel asked him, but Paul said he hadn't. This is either true, or he's protecting a friend who got him a great hook-up.

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Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony's TV Show Goes On, 'Cash Cab' Kills Pedestrian & More

by Jean Bentley, posted Jul 18th 2011 3:00PM
Jennifer Lopez, Marc AnthonyJennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's marriage may be over, but their business partnership isn't.

The celebrity ex-couple will continue to co-produce their new reality show, 'Q'Viva,' together, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The talent competition seeks a Latin American singing superstar.

A rep told THR, "The show goes on. 'Q'Viva!,' the hotly anticipated 2012 celebration of Latin music, artistry and dance, is set to film this autumn in South America with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as previously announced."

In other TV news ...

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Gus, Trust and Gale: Thoughts on the 'Breaking Bad' Season Premiere (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 18th 2011 11:15AM
I can't promise I'll be recapping 'Breaking Bad' every week -- with Comic-Con and other travel commitments looming, it would be foolhardy promise that -- but I wanted to share a few thoughts about 'Breaking Bad's' masterful season premiere.

I wrote in my season 4 review that 'Box Cutter' was one of the finest season premieres I'd ever seen, and the word that kept coming to mind as I watched it was 'trust.'

There isn't any between Gus and Walt, but trust was nevertheless evident in every frame shot in the Superlab.

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'Breaking Bad' A to Z: Catch Up & Get Scoop Before Season 4 Premieres

by Kim Potts, posted Jul 15th 2011 1:45PM


What does "breaking bad" actually mean? It's a Southern phrase that means someone has taken a turn to the dark side. And, of course, it is the perfect title of AMC's Emmy-winning drama 'Breaking Bad,' which kicks off its fourth season this weekend (Sun., July 17, 10PM ET).

To celebrate the new season -- which promises to be darker, more intense and every bit as good as the first three -- here's our (warning: spoiler heavy) A to Z trip through 'Breaking Bad' history, with a generous sprinkling of hints about what to expect in the new season.

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