The final 8 episodes of "Breaking Bad" will debut on Sunday, August 11 at 9 p.m., one of many announcements made today at AMC's upfront presentation for advertisers.
We always knew the "Breaking Bad" conclusion would air in summer, but this is nearly a month later than the first part of season 5 began (on July 15, 2012). That makes it a longer wait, but also (looking on the bright side) prolongs our relationship with Walter White and company a bit.
Those final "Breaking Bad" episodes will be used to launch "Low Winter Sun," a new crime drama starring Mark Strong and Lennie James. It'll air at 10 p.m. starting the same night, and lead into "Talking Bad," an hour-long discussion of each "Breaking Bad" episode in the same vein as "Talking Dead" as been for "The Walking Dead."
More to come in this post in terms of the other renewals and series pick-ups.
UPDATE: Okay, here are the other notable announcements from the AMC upfront:
* "Small Town Security" will be back on Thursday, May 9 at 10 p.m. A few weeks later, it'll be joined on Thursdays by "Showville," another reality series about a traveling small town talent show. It'll air at 9 p.m. starting May 23.
* More Thursday reality starting August 15, with the new "Owner's Manual" (two guys compete to master technology, one reading the manual and one not) at 9 p.m. and the return of "The Pitch" at 10 p.m.
* "Talking Dead" has, unsurprisingly, been renewed for a third season. I think this kind of show may be the wave of the future for breakout hits that don't seem to have a compatible lead-outs. If "The Walking Dead" had somehow debuted years before "Lost," I imagine "Lost" would have been followed by something like this, rather than years of failed imitators like "Invasion." (That AMC is sandwiching "Low Winter Sun" in between "Breaking Bad" and "Talking Bad" suggests that old habits die hard, however.)
* AMC also renewed "Comic Book Men" and "Freakshow."
* Lots and lots of new shows in development. On the scripted side, it's heavy on period and science fiction: "King," a '60s political drama from Joe Scarborough and ex-"Sopranos" writers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider; sci-fi drama "Ballistic City," from "Pacific Rim" writer Travis Beacham and "Oblivion" director Joseph Kosinski; "Ashland," set in '50s Kentucky and created by indie film queen Allison Anders; "White City," about journalists and diplomats living in Afghanistan; an untitled drama from "Mad Men" writer Dahvi Waller about two brothers running a New York automobile business in the '20s; an untitled sci-fi series set in a future where we're on the verge of a second American revolution; and "The Wall," an espionage drama set in '60s Berlin.
* Unscripted development: "Majority Rules," a "light-hearted" look at the democratic process; "All-Star Celebrity Bowling," which is exactly what you'd think; and "Cancelled," in which six families compete to see whose reality show within the show will last the longest.