Breaking Bad has been a tremendous show and, I assume, a tremendous success for AMC. That’s deserved; they invested and took a risk on an out-of-the-ordinary premise. However, they’ve taken two tactics with this show that I find off-putting and am afraid of their ramifications on not only upcoming AMC shows, but perhaps those of other stations.
The first annoyance is that they broke later seasons of Breaking Bad in two, with sometime long hiatuses in between the halves. This isn’t unheard of in the industry but, as a fan, it’s terrible. This last season of Breaking Bad, we were just getting into the swing of things by episode eight when we suddenly get a mid-season “ending” and a long hiatus. Sadly, episode nine was super successful after the wait and a lot of promotion about the show’s return. I’m afraid that success just encourages stations and creators to favor this approach. Mad Men is doing the same thing, as is Walking Dead.
Secondly, AMC has been positively shoving its new show, Low Winter Sun, down our collective throat. In fact, the only reason I know the title of that show is the incessant lower thirds, bugs, commercials, and so on that I’ve been abused by. This entire half-season, AMC has also held the previews of Breaking Bad’s next episodes hostage, making you get Low Winter Sun to see them.
So, note to AMC: There’s no way in hell I’m watching Low Winter Sun, even if I hear it’s good, and I only say that because of the over-the-top, overbearing promotion of it.
Showtime did this much better: They premiered Homeland with the successful Dexter as a lead-in. They did promote it to Dexter audiences, but nowhere nearly as shamelessly. Homeland was good; its success is deserved, not because of Dexter, but because of its quality.
Shame on you, AMC. I’ve enjoyed many of your shows, but I hope you change your ways regarding these promotional tactics.