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‘Breaking Bad’: Why Would FX Pass on the Series?

Breaking Bad Season 5
AMC

Breaking Bad‘ season 5 is all set to blow our faces off with its July 15 premiere (and even a little earlier for those at Comic-Con 2012), but did you know that Walter White almost had a different home?  A new interview reveals that FX was the original choice to host the king of New Mexican meth, but surprisingly the network opted not to move forward with TV’s currently best drama.  What the Fring would cause that decision?

Speaking in an interview with EW’s Kim Masters, FX president John Landgraf surprisingly revealed that the network had once passed on Emmy-winning Bryan Cranston drama ‘Breaking Bad.’  Though FX remains currently known for its stock of edgy dramas as well as comedies, including ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘Louie,’ the landscape was significantly different before ‘Breaking Bad’s 2008 premiere.

Back then, Walter White would have been just another white anti-hero joining the ranks of ‘The Shield,’ ‘Rescue Me,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘Nip/Tuck.’  Understandably so, Landgraf wasn’t keen on making FX a network of one anti-hero after another, as he explains:

We had three dramas with male antiheroes and we looked at that script and said, ‘Okay, so here’s a fourth male antihero.  The question was: ‘Are we defining FX as the male antihero network and is that a big enough tent?’

Foolish human.  As we all well know, ‘Breaking Bad’ has gone on to become one of the most critically successful drama series of all time, making AMC a landmark for new series.  But hey, there’s always ‘Anger Management‘ to fall back on.

Look, it was a wonderful script. If I had known Vince Gilligan was going to be one of the best showrunners in television, and Breaking Bad was going to be literally one of the very best shows in television, I would have picked it up despite the concept. But the truth of the matter is anybody who does what I do for a living, who’s honest, will tell you that you’re making decisions based on too little information all the time, and you make good ones and you make bad ones.

What say you?  Would ‘Breaking Bad’ have been the same if it had aired on FX instead?  What are you most looking forward to about the new season?  Sound off in the comments below!

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