Observations: It's a modern classic – so why isn't this drama breaking on UK TV?


It has been called "revolutionary" by the New York Times and lauded by Stephen King. Yet Breaking Bad, which is back for its fifth and final season in the US, has not aired on a UK channel since 5USA showed season two in 2009.

Nor is that likely to change. While the first three seasons of the show have sold strongly on DVD, no television channel has struck a deal to air it in the UK.

Why is that? It is a show which is spoken of in the same breath as that holy triumvirate of The Sopranos, Mad Men and The Wire.

What sets Breaking Bad apart is its refusal to give its leading man, the calculating Walter White, the sort of get-out clause enjoyed by the likes of Mad Men's Don Draper. Where Draper's charisma allows us to forgive him, White is a clear-headed criminal. Most importantly, he doesn't exist in a vacuum – seemingly inconsequential actions from earlier seasons ripple forward to create seismic outcomes in seasons three and four.

'Breaking Bad' Season 4 is out on DVD on 1 October