Breaking Bad Creator Admits Illegal Downloads Helped the TV Show

Illustration for article titled Breaking Bad Creator Admits Illegal Downloads Helped the TV Show

Breaking Bad, a TV show permanently sculpted onto television's Mount Rushmore, whipped itself from a critically acclaimed yet not exactly ratings dominant TV show into THE bizz-bizz-buzzy pop culture phenomenon of the year as the series raced to its end. How did it happen? According to Breaking Bad's creator Vince Gilligan, illegal downloads help.


Gilligan told the BBC:

“I see that there are two sides to this coin. If I’m being honest I see that the illegal downloading led to a lot of people watching the series, becoming aware of the series who otherwise would not have been... I see that in some ways illegal downloading has helped us, certainly in terms of brand awareness, so that’s a good side.”

Now it's not as if Gilligan is promoting pirating TV shows because he's clearly not. But he's absolutely acknowledging the help that the choppy waves of torrenting can provide for TV shows. You get buzz! You get the Internet to love you! You just don't get paid.

So of course Gilligan would still rather have people download TV shows legitimately so people "who worked on the show would’ve made more money" (duh) but it seems like most showrunners are realizing a little sacrifice in accepting pirates can eventually add up to bigger ratings and bigger buzz which is better for them. [BBC via Torrent Freak]


Working in TV myself, I have never seen the production crew or post team get paid more just because the show made more money... ever.

seems like the only people who "worked on the show [that] would've made more money" are the execs who really didn't worked on the show like the people who actually shot and edited the whole thing. Hell, the people doing the marketing for the show wouldn't get paid more.

but I guess that's just semantic.

EDIT: to be more specific, I mean that they don't get paid extra retroactively. It's not like the execs get paid more then say, "Hey! Let's divvy up all this extra money to the rest of the team!"