Roughly six weeks ago, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffery Katzenberg offered to finance three additional episodes of Breaking Bad for $25 million apiece. That would have resulted in a nice profit for those involved with the show as the average episode last season only cost about $3.5 million to create. Simply put, they would have made more profit from these three episodes than all five years of the show combined.
The story within a story here, however, is not that Katzenberg – a huge fan of the show – wanted more episodes but how he wanted those episodes to play out. As Variety points out, he wanted to create the “greatest pay-per-view television event for scripted programming anybody’s ever done.”
Even though each episode would have been 60 minutes long, it would have been broken up into six-minute clips that would air each day online over the course of a month. The plan was to charge between $0.50 to $0.99 per episode although it’s unclear if “episode” means a 60-minute episode or a six-minute clip.
As the offer came in well before the series finale, Katzenberg had no idea how the story would eventually play out. We won’t spoil the ending for those that haven’t seen it, but let’s just say it’d be tough to make three more episodes that would introduce any true substance to the storyline.
The bigger story here is the delivery method. Despite the fact that it would be tough to sustain dramatic tension over the course of a series, Katzenberg believes there is a whole new platform for short-form entertainment worth exploring.