Breaking Bad, which revolves around a high school chemistry teacher turned meth dealer, owes a big debt of gratitude to Netflix, Breaking Bad Executive Producer Vince Gilligan recently told New York Magazine. Part of the credit may go to the Netflix feature that permits one to "binge watch" shows in just a few sittings.
"I don't think you'd be sitting here interviewing me if it weren't for Netflix," Gilligan told New York. "In its third season, Breaking Bad got this amazing nitrous-oxide boost of energy and general public awareness because of Netflix."
Kudos to bingers
Gilligan is just the latest Hollywood bigwig to credit part of a show's success to the way people are consuming video online. In February, television director David Petrarca, who has directed episodes of Game of Thrones and True Blood, said online piracy doesn't hurt hit shows, but instead helps them maintain "cultural buzz."
Petrarca's comments are obviously more controversial than Gilligan's, since Game of Thrones pirates aren't paying for an HBO subscription to watch the show. Netflix subscribers, meanwhile, fork out $8 a month for the privilege to consume serialized hit shows like Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and Arrested Development. Nevertheless, it's notable that online modes of consuming video, whether sanctioned or not, are becoming an important way to connect with potential audiences.