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'Breaking Bad' vet Jonathan Banks joins 'Community' -- EXCLUSIVE

He commanded fear and respect as a hitman/fixer on Breaking Bad, and now he will command fear and respect as… a community college professor. Jonathan Banks will appear in 11 episodes of Community‘s fifth season, EW has learned. READ FULL STORY

'Breaking Bad' premieres huge

No surprise here: The Sunday, Aug. 11, premiere of Breaking Bad brought huge ratings for cable channel AMC, delivering 5.9 million viewers, the most in series history and up 102 percent over the show’s season 5 premiere last summer.

With 3.6 million viewers among adults 18-49, Breaking Bad is second only to AMC’s The Walking Dead in delivery to this key demographic across all cable networks.

Additionally, AMC premiered its newest dramatic series Low Winter Sun, which attracted 2.5 million viewers. Following that, Talking Bad — hosted by Chris Hardwick and featuring discussion and analysis of Breaking Bad — debuted with 1.2 million viewers.

Missed the edge-of-your-seat episode? Check out EW’s recap and read some zany theories.

Aaron Paul on final run of 'Breaking Bad': 'It's just so raw and it doesn't allow the audience to breathe'

Is eight enough? Probably not for most fans of Breaking Bad. But eight episodes is all we have left in the saga of chemistry teacher-turned-meth lord Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and his student-turned-partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The second half of the fifth and final season debuts tonight at 9 p.m. on AMC, and you are strongly advised to fasten your safety belts. “The final 8 is just such a violent sprint to the finish line,” Paul tells EW. “Each season we get progressively darker and darker, and this final season is hands down the darkest one yet. It’s just so raw and it doesn’t allow the audience to breathe because we don’t have time to do that.” Cranston agrees, calling it “brutal” and noting that it “does not let up. It’s not going to give you a break.”
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'Breaking Bad' blooper reel: Walter White can have fun too! -- VIDEO

Gearing up for the final eight episodes of of Breaking Bad has been a long and arduous journey — but there’s been plenty of buzz, scoop (a possible spin-off!), and recaps to keep us all foaming at the mouth for more of the drug-induced drama. You might say we’re addicted!

Here’s the latest in Breaking Bad tidbits: a gag reel compiled from the first half of season 5. Even when they’re funny, they’re serious. Watch the cast deadpan over some suggestive lines, ad-lib a bit, and deal with an unimpressed baby.
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'MythBusters' meets 'Breaking Bad,' and the results are explosive -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Remember when Walter White made a really explosive bomb out of fulminated mercury and blew up a building? He probably should’ve been wearing a HASMAT suit.

According to this exclusive clip from MythBusters‘ upcoming Breaking Bad special, the compound is highly explosive and extremely dangerous. It’s sensitive to impact, friction heat, and spark, and unfortunately, it’s also far less attractive than the crystals of mercury fulminate we saw on the show.

But hey, we can’t be harmed by watching it on our TV! Check out the clip below to see Kari, Tory, and Grant blow up a pumpkin in the preliminary stages of the mythbust.
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FX chief: You can't go darker than 'Breaking Bad'

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As Walter White famously said: “I won.”

FX Networks CEO John Landgraf was asked about the show’s “anti-hero” brand, and how much darker cable dramas can get.

Landgraf gave credit to HBO’s The Sopranos for starting the trend, as well as his own acclaimed anti-hero series, The Shield. But there’s one show out there he says that found the top (or the bottom, depending on your perspective), for what a series can pull off: AMC’s Breaking Bad.

“I can’t imagine a protagonist darker than Walter White,” he says, referring to Bad‘s main character, whose misdeeds including nearly fatally poisoning a child and arranging a mass murder of potential informers in a prison. “It’s the end of the road for [cable networks] out-darking each other. This nuclear arms race of darkness has ended.”

FX has projects such as the vampire series The Strain and a limited series take on the world of Fargo, which this morning added Billy Bob Thornton to the cast.

'Breaking Bad' at Lincoln Center: Bryan Cranston's 'BrBa' tattoo, RJ Mitte's fake spoilers, & more

Like father, like son, eh?

During a Times Talk with the cast of Breaking Bad Tuesday, Aaron Paul revealed that one of Bryan Cranston’s favorite on-set pastimes was taking advantage of Paul’s tendency not to read ahead in the scripts — by making Paul believe that his character was about to die. (Yo, bitch: Not cool!)

And at another event held in New York City last night, RJ Mitte — who plays Cranston’s kid on AMC’s drama — explained that he, too, loves messing with people by lying about what’ll happen next on Breaking Bad. “I just say random, horrible things about everyone,” the actor explained with a big smile. “Anything you can think of.”

More specifically, what has Mitte tried to pass off as fact? “That it was all a dream. That we wake up on the island. That everyone’s dead, and Jesse and Walt are lovers. That baby Holly dies.”

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'Breaking Bad': Did Bryan Cranston just reveal Walt's fate?

Among the countless questions waiting to be answered in the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad — how does Walt end up on the lam? Will Hank be able to catch his criminal brother-in-law? How many more times will we watch Flynn Walt Jr. eat breakfast? — one looms larger than the rest: In the end, what will happen to Walter White?

Will he die in a bloody shootout, or finally succumb to lung cancer, or end up in prison, or be placed in witness protection and given a whole new family — ultimately revealing that Breaking Bad was just an elaborate prequel to Malcolm in the Middle? This last theory was actually floated at a New York TimesTalk with the cast and creator Vince Gilligan tonight. “That may not be as far fetched as you imagine,” star Bryan Cranston joked in response. “DVD extras!”

We won’t know for sure until September 29, when the celebrated drama’s final episode airs on AMC. But during tonight’s event, Cranston did pose an interesting hypothesis of his own — one that could say a lot about where we leave Walt.

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'Breaking Bad' teaser: Look on Walt's works, ye mighty, and despair!

The bad news: There is no footage from Breaking Bad‘s final eight episodes in the following teaser.

The good news: The teaser does contain evocative images of locations featured in AMC’s drama — the vast New Mexico desert, a busy Albuquerque street, a telltale green and yellow Vamanos Pest Control tent — fading in and out as Bryan Cranston recites Percy Bysshe Shelley’s sonnet Ozymandias, a tale of hubris and fallen empires. The clip’s the sort of thing that would seem pretentious coming from another series — but for Breaking, it’s just right. Check it out below:
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'The Writers' Room': Bryan Cranston on why he wanted to play Walter White in 'Breaking Bad' -- VIDEO

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As Breaking Bad prepares to unveil its final batch of episodes, wouldn’t you like to venture into the lab to see how its complex, addictive formula is created? On July 29, Sundance Channel, in partnership with Entertainment Weekly, presents the premiere episode of its new series The Writers’ Room that shines a light on the dark AMC drama about a cancer-sticken high school chemistry teacher who becomes a scary meth lord. Series creator Vince Gilligan, star Bryan Cranston, and three other writer-producers share the inspirations, rituals, and secrets behind one of TV’s most acclaimed series. Check out a sample below, in which Cranston discusses his animalistic desire to tackle the role of Walter White. READ FULL STORY

'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan: 'I think most folks are going to dig the ending'

The first of the final eight Breaking Bad episodes won’t be unveiled until Aug. 11, but the show’s cast, plus creator Vince Gilligan, were on display at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Friday to answer reporters’ questions about the critically acclaimed AMC drama. Similar to the Breaking Bad Q&A session at Comic-Con, there was little information about the second half of season 5, though Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, and other cast members did touch on the finale, a documentary, and the possibility of a Saul Goodman spin-off, among other topics.

• Asked about how Gilligan and Cranston envisioned the ending of the show when it was being hatched in 2008, Gilligan couldn’t recall his original intention for the finale. “I couldn’t see that far ahead,” he says. “I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.” Cranston said that he recalled discussions about the design and transformation of the character, but “we never discussed where it was going to end up. It was just too big a subject. And as the seasons went on, I never found out. I never asked. I never wanted to know. The twists and turns of my character were so sharp that it wouldn’t help me to know. So I was just holding on, much like the audience was, week to week.”
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At TCA, we want answers about 'Homeland,' 'American Horror Story: Coven,' 'Agents of SHIELD,' more

Summer is typically a pretty quiet time for TV fans, but July is full of television news, thanks to last weekend’s Comic-Con and today’s kickoff of the Television Critics Association Press Tour.

As entertainment reporters (including EW’s Inside TV team) settle in for two weeks of TCA presentations, we’re looking forward to the new and returning shows we didn’t catch up with down in San Diego, plus reminding you of all the great news we scooped up during our Comic-Con interviews. Stick with EW.com through Aug. 7 for everything you need to know about these shows and more:
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'Breaking Bad' at Comic-Con: Bryan Cranston & co. talk favorite, challenging moments

The H in Hall H stood for Heisenberg on Sunday, as the Breaking Bad cast (Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk and RJ Mitte, minus Betsy Brandt) and creator Vince Gilligan took the stage at Comic-Con to reflect on the show’s celebrated five-season run and screen some new footage. Here are your highlights:

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