AMC has renewed the critically-acclaimed Breaking Bad for 16 more episodes. The bad news? It’ll be its final season. The final episodes will start airing in early 2012, but an official premiere date wasn’t given in the press release issued by the network.
It is also not clear if the network will air all 16 episodes straight through or if it will be broken up into two separate seasons. Each season typically has 13 episodes ordered, which fuels rumors that 13 episodes will air in the upcoming fifth season and six more will air during its sixth and final season.
“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, AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement.
The show was one of the series that helped put the network on cable map with it regularly pulling in north of 4 million viewers for its most recent season. That is a smaller total viewership than The Walking Dead, also airing on AMC, but garnering over 4 million viewers is considered a hit on cable television.