Breaking Bad is an American television crime drama series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. Set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family's financial future before he dies teaming with his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Heavily serialized, the series is known for positioning its characters in seemingly inextricable corners, and has been labeled a contemporary western by its creator.
Premiering on January 20, 2008, the series is broadcast in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC and is a production of Sony Pictures Television. On August 14, 2011, AMC announced that Breaking Bad had been renewed for a fifth and final season consisting of 16 episodes. This final season is split into two parts, each consisting of 8 episodes and broadcast over the course of two years. The first half premiered on July 15, 2012, and concluded on September 2, 2012; the second half premiered on August 11, 2013. The series finale is scheduled to air on September 29, 2013.
Breaking Bad has received widespread critical acclaim and is considered one of the greatest TV dramas of all time. Progression of each season resulted in extremely positive word-of-mouth, which has led to a steady increase in popularity. This culminated in rapid growth because of recent availability on multiple platforms, such as Netflix. Breaking Bad is now among the most-watched cable shows on American television, the audience numbers having doubled from the previous year's episodes
The series has won ten Primetime Emmy Awards—including three consecutive wins for Best Actor for Cranston, two wins for Best Supporting Actor for Paul and one win for Best Supporting Actress for Gunn and Outstanding Drama Series after four nominations. The series was also nominated for an Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and Cranston three times for Best Actor, besides being nominated four times for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor, winning once at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America named Breaking Bad the 13th best-written TV series of all time. That same year, Guinness World Records awarded it the highest-rated TV series of all time, citing a Metacritic score of 99/100.