[06/20/07 - 06:02 PM]
AMC Greenlights New Original Drama Series Breaking Bad
Plus: the network confirms its original series "Mad Men" will premiere on Thursday, July 19 at 10:00/9:00c.

[via press release from AMC]

AMC Greenlights New Original Drama Series Breaking Bad

From Writer/Director Vince Gilligan (The X-Files), BREAKING BAD Stars: Emmy-Nominated Actor Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle), Aaron Paul (Mission: Impossible III), Anna Gunn (Deadwood); Dean Norris (Little Miss Sunshine), and RJ Mitte (Hannah Montana, Weeds)

New York, NY - June 20, 2007 - AMC announced today that it has greenlit Breaking Bad, the one-hour original drama from acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan (X-Files). The network ordered eight new episodes in addition to the pilot which was shot on location in New Mexico earlier this year. The series, which is set to debut on the network in 2008, follows the story of a desperate man who turns to a life of crime to secure his family's financial security. Vince Gilligan and Mark Johnson are the executive producers for High Bridge Productions, Inc. and Gran Via Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television. Today's announcement comes as AMC approaches the premiere of its highly anticipated original scripted drama series Mad Men, from Matthew Weiner (Sopranos), on July 19, at 10pm EST.

"When viewing the pilot for Breaking Bad it was clear we had something special on our hands that would connect with our audience and deliver on AMC's mandate to create destination television for our movie-loving audience," stated AMC General Manager and Executive Vice President Charlie Collier. "AMC is focused on creating a unique environment where the quality of our original programming matches the iconic films that are showcased on the network. Breaking Bad is a powerful addition that does just that."

"Breaking Bad is a surprising and exciting next move for AMC's original production," stated Rob Sorcher, AMC's Executive Vice President of Programming and Production. "The series stops you in your tracks, with intelligent, cinematic, and distinctive storytelling combined with a tremendously talented creative team. There is nothing like Breaking Bad on television today."

"This caliber of writing, directing and producing is the reason we have chased Vince for years," said Jamie Erlicht, co-president, programming and production, Sony Pictures Television. Adds co-president Zack VanAmburg, "With the series pickup, AMC is demonstrating that they're serious about producing provocative, quality original programming, and we're extremely happy to be working with them."

Breaking Bad is a dramatic series that follows protagonist, Walter White (Cranston) a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Gunn) and teenage son (Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family's financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series will explore how a fatal diagnosis such as White's releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.

The series stars Emmy-nominated veteran actor Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Little Miss Sunshine); Aaron Paul (Mission: Impossible III); Anna Gunn (Deadwood); Dean Norris (Little Miss Sunshine); Betsy Brandt (CSI); and RJ Mitte (Hannah Montana, Weeds). The pilot is Executive Produced by Mark Johnson (The Chronicles of Narnia, What Lies Beneath, Donnie Brasco); and the Oscar´┐Ż-winning Cinematographer John Toll (The Last Samurai, Braveheart, Legends of the Fall) serves as Director of Photography.

AMC entered the original programming arena in 2006 with Broken Trail, the award winning movie-event starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church, and also produced by Sony Pictures Television. The premiere of the epic western set a new standard for the network, ranking as the number one most watched cable movie of the decade. Continuing the original programming momentum, this July AMC will premiere its first ever original dramatic series, Mad Man, Matthew Weiner's first project since the Sopranos, and Breaking Bad is set to air on the network in 2008. In addition, AMC recently announced an extensive slate of original series in development with industry vets including: Tom Fontana (OZ); Freddy DeMann (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers); William Finkelstein (Law & Order); Kip Koenig (Grey's Anatomy); David Semel (Heroes, House); Karen Hall (E-Ring, Judging Amy); Michael Oates Palmer (Shark, West Wing); Jason Rothenberg (Girlfight), Scott Villa (The Simple Life, Medical Investigation,); Adam Glass (All About the Andersons); Bob Cooper and Orin Woinsky of Landscape Entertainment; and Stacy Title and Jonathan Penner (The Lone Ranger,, 2003).

AMC has delivered record performance in 2007 among key demographics, garnering its strongest 1Q in network history. AMC ranked Top 10 in prime Men 25-54 delivery among all ad-supported networks for the quarter, an increase of 31% year to year for the network. Available to over 91 million homes, AMC also ranked #1 in impression growth in all of cable for Men 25-54 (up 76,000), #3 for Men 18-49 (up 63,000), and #3 for A25-54 (up 120,000) for the quarter. The success continued in May, with the network once again ranking Top 10 in Men 25-54 delivery (up 24% year to year), as well as Top 5 in audience growth with Adult 25-54, Men 25-54 and Men 18-49 among all ad-supported cable networks.

Source: Nielsen Media Research. 1/1/07-4/1/07. Prime M-Su 8-11p. Growth based on impression delivery growth vs 1Q06 (12/26/05-4/2/06). May 2007 (4/30/07-5/27/07). Prime M-Su 8-11p. M25- 54 (000) delivery rank among all ad-supported cable networks broadcasting more than 51% of the daypart; Growth based on May 2007 primetime raw impression (000) growth among A25-54, M25-54, M18-49 vs May 06 (5/1/06-5/28/06).

About AMC

AMC, a division of Rainbow Media's Entertainment Services, which also includes WE tv and IFC Companies, is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 91 million homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and a critically-acclaimed slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. AMC has garnered many of the industry's highest honors, including 14 Emmy awards. AMC is "TV for movie people."

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC

Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Rainbow Sports Networks managed FSN Bay Area and FSN New England, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.

About Sony Pictures Television

Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. Sony Pictures Television also oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) domestic digital efforts across all platforms. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses, for Sony BMG and for iN DEMAND's high definition channel INHD. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

  [june 2007]  

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