Jeffrey Katzenberg offered Breaking Bad creators $75m for three more episodes
The DreamWorks Animation boss thinks he's found a new way to make money from TV shows
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 10 October 2013
There are fans, there are super-fans and then there is Jeffrey Katzenberg. The CEO of DreamWorks Animation has revealed that he offered the creators of Breaking Bad $75m (£47m) to make a further three hour-long episodes of the show.
His only demand, he said, was that the additional 180 minutes be broken down into six-minute instalments, delivered online to subscribers over 30 days. Giving the keynote speech to the annual Mipcom TV and entertainment sales festival in Cannes on Wednesday, Mr Katzenberg claimed his wild idea would have been “the greatest pay-per-view [event] in scripted television ever.”
The acclaimed drama about a chemistry-teacher-turned-drug lord, lasted for five series and drew a US audience of more than 10 million to its final episode on the cable channel AMC last month. In the UK, the finale was shown on Netflix. Mr Katzenberg said he made his offer before knowing how the narrative would conclude. Though the show’s creators had declined, he told the story to demonstrate that distributors are still willing to pay handsomely for quality content, however that content is delivered to an audience.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that millions of people would have downloaded those episodes,” he said.
If just five million people – half of the show’s domestic finale audience – were to download each of the 30 mini-episodes for $0.50 apiece, as Mr Katzenberg mooted, that would generate $75m overall. As it was, the finale earned $8m from adverts.
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