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After tense talks between Sony and AMC, an agreement was reached for Breaking Bad's fifth and final season. Consisting of 16 episodes, it is unknown at this time if the season will air as a whole or be split into two shorter installments like many other cable series. Production for all episodes will begin in early 2012, with premier dates still to be determined.
The official announcement was made by the president of AMC, Charlie Collier, who said; “While it is sad to even contemplate the end of this series, we are so happy to have had the chance to go on this ride, and truly look forward to presenting the rest of this amazing story.”
The positive outcome came after acrimonious and public negotiations, in which AMC pushed to reduce the fifth season's episode count by half. A move that led to Breaking Bad's production company, Sony, to consider moving the series to another network. Coming to a favorable agreement was a step in the right direction for the network that seems to be generating nothing but bad press lately.
Sony TV will still have to negotiate contracts for creator Vince Gilligan, but he is all but guaranteed to be around to send off the series. The cast will also be renewing deals, including Emmy winners Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.