Here is the real reason 'Breaking Bad' ended after only five years

Here is the real reason 'Breaking Bad' ended after only five years

Along with pretty much everyone else who owned a TV between 2008 and 2013, I tuned in to watch Breaking Bad while it was airing. And it was awesome. It had good bad-guys and bad good-guys, plot twists and unexpected deaths, stacks of cash and piles of meth, and one really good scene where a pizza ends up on the roof.

But, like all good things, it had to come to an end - which was not quite as awesome (though still probably the best season finale I've ever seen) - with a whopping 10.28 million people tuning in to see what would become of the infamous Walter White.

With 62 episodes under its belt by the end of its run, Breaking Bad was by no means a short television series; but it wasn't exactly a long one, either - especially considering the number of viewers it was still pulling in by the end. So why did we reach the finale so quickly?

Well, as creator Vince Gilligan explains, it was actually his idea to ensure the show had a short lifespan.

"I pushed harder than anyone for it to end when it did," he said.

"Y'know, as someone making money on the show, in very crass, basic terms, I would have loved for it to go on forever. But I had worked on The X-Files for years before that, which was a wonderful job. I loved it.

"I was such a fan of the show when I got involved, and I had such a good time being a writer on it. For seven years, I was on it.

"Then suddenly, I looked up one day, and realized that everybody else was watching something else entirely. I learned at that point: you don't want to leave the party too late. You want to leave folks wanting more."

Gilligan then went on to say that he would rather have had the show end on a high, while it was still loved by fans, than drag it on to the point where people would begin watching out of duty. Or worse, to the point where they'd stop watching altogether.

"I was very anxious about the idea of folks suddenly moving on, and saying, 'Is that show still on the air? I used to watch it. It used to be good'," he said.

"I'd wanted folks rather to say, 'Don't end it now!' That's what I wanted, and that's what we got, thank goodness. So it was me as much as anybody who said, 'I want to leave the stage at a high point, and not go past the high point.'

"There was a little bit of pressure from the studios [Sony], saying... not pressure, but the hope expressed by them: 'Can you go a little longer? We're only now starting to make money on this thing.' So they were very understanding, actually. I have to give them great credit.

"Some other companies probably would have said, 'If you don't do this, someone else will. We're going to keep this thing going.' But they were wonderful to work with."

Given the ongoing success of Breaking Bad, it's probably safe to say that Gilligan made the right decision to end the show when he did. Sure, we all probably would have enjoyed seeing Walter and Jesse mess around for another 10 episodes or so, but it was the tight-paced action and quick progression of the story towards the end that really made it appealing.

Plus, there's nothing stopping us from enjoying it all over again on Netflix.