The final season of Breaking Bad will air in two eight-episode chunks, Entertainment Weekly reports. “We’re splitting it,” says series star Bryan Cranston, who was interviewed from the set of the show’s fifth season premiere in New Mexico. “We’re going to shoot the first eight, then take a four-month production break, then the rest will air next year.”
AMC has not formally announced this plan, though a representative for Sony Pictures TV has confirmed that this is “one scenario” being considered by the network. According to actors on the set, Breaking Bad is scheduled to return to the air in July. If the final season is indeed split into two sections, the second half may be held until the following summer.
Other major cable dramas have had their final seasons extended and split into two halves. The sixth season of The Sopranos began with a 12-episode run in the spring of 2006 and wrapped up with nine more episodes the following year. There was a three-month break in the middle of Sex and the City‘s final season, splitting the run between 2003 and 2004.