Arts & Entertainment

This Is the Real Reason Breaking Bad Ended After Only 5 Years

There's an X-Files connection
IMAGE AMC
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You can have too much of a good thing, but when Breaking Bad ended after just five years, it left fans hungry for more.

A prequel, Better Call Saul, would later air on AMC, but Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has revealed he was keen to wrap up the original show after working as a writer / executive producer on The X-Files.

"I pushed harder than anyone for it to end when it did," Gilligan told press including Digital Spy.

"Y'know, as someone making money on the show, in very crass, basic terms, I would have loved for it to go on forever. But I had worked on The X-Files for years before that, which was a wonderful job. I loved it.

"I was such a fan of the show when I got involved, and I had such a good time being a writer on it. For seven years, I was on it.

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"Then suddenly, I looked up one day, and realized that everybody else was watching something else entirely. I learned at that point: you don't want to leave the party too late. You want to leave folks wanting more."

Gilligan added that the story of meth lord Walter White (Bryan Cranston) "could have gone a few more seasons" but that he wanted to end the show before audiences grew bored.


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"I was very anxious about the idea of folks suddenly moving on, and saying, 'Is that show still on the air? I used to watch it. It used to be good.'

"I'd wanted folks rather to say, 'Don't end it now!' That's what I wanted, and that's what we got, thank goodness. So it was me as much as anybody who said, 'I want to leave the stage at a high point, and not go past the high point.'

"There was a little bit of pressure from the studios [Sony], saying...not pressure, but the hope expressed by them: 'Can you go a little longer? We're only now starting to make money on this thing.' So they were very understanding, actually. I have to give them great credit.

"Some other companies probably would have said, 'If you don't do this, someone else will. We're going to keep this thing going.' But they were wonderful to work with."

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Gilligan also revealed that he's open to revisiting Aaron Paul's character of Jesse Pinkman in future, possibly in the 'present-day' scenes on Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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