Anticipation reaches fever pitch as 'Breaking Bad' finale nears - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Anticipation reaches fever pitch as series finale of 'Breaking Bad' nears

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We learn the fates of chemistry teacher turned drug lord Walter White and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman when 'Breaking Bad' concludes Sunday night. (Source: AMC/MGN Online) We learn the fates of chemistry teacher turned drug lord Walter White and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman when 'Breaking Bad' concludes Sunday night. (Source: AMC/MGN Online)

(RNN) - Time is almost up for Breaking Bad, the AMC serial drama that chronicled the rise and fall of Walter White, cancer-stricken chemistry teacher and family man, who descended into a dark world of crime and murder as he built a multimillion dollar drug empire then lost everything.

The show ends its five-season run Sunday night with a 75-minute series finale, a week after winning the 2013 Emmy for Best Drama Series. It was the 10th Emmy for the show, which defies categorization, containing elements of crime drama, psychological thriller, contemporary western and black comedy.

The lead actor, Bryan Cranston, has won three Best Actor Emmys, and Anna Gunn, who plays his wife, Skylar, won most recently for Best Supporting Actress.

As the final season unspooled, bloggers, YouTube commentators and water-cooler pundits have tried to second-guess creator Vince Gilligan and his writing staff on how the end will come, and who, if any, among the show's principal characters will be left alive when the smoke clears.

Gilligan, who cut his teeth as a writer on the science fiction sensation The X-Files, has drawn praise from all corners for his storytelling, attention to detail, masterful use of dramatic principles and the alarming transformation of a regular guy who decided to pay for his cancer treatment and leave some money behind for his family by cooking methamphetamine on the side.

And no matter how wicked Walt became, fans just couldn't help but pull for him.

The show has crossed the barrier into cultural phenomenon it its final year. Each episode was followed by the half-hour, live after show Talking Bad, featuring host Chris Hardwick and actors, producers, directors and celebrity fans analyzing and discussing every detail.

The network allows viewers a "two-screen experience" by following along on their computers, commenting and speculating on the action as it unfolds.

The show's success is a product of the internet age, Gilligan said. Netflix has the first four seasons in their entirety and the first eight episodes of the final season available. It has used YouTube to virally promote the show through releasing previews and trailers, as well as some R-rated "minisodes."

"I don't think our show would have lasted past Season 2 if not for streaming video on demand, and also the social internet component of it, where folks get to chat online with folks all around the world afterward has really helped," he told Entertainment Weekly.

The cast has made appearances on the talk circuit, merchandise from the program is in high demand and AMC has featured a round-the-clock marathon of all 61 episodes leading up to the finale.

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