Breaking Bad is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show aired on AMC from January 20, 2008, to September 29, 2013, consisting of five seasons for a total of 62 episodes. It was set and filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), an underpaid, overqualified, and dispirited high school chemistry teacher who is struggling with a recent diagnosis of stage-three lung cancer. White turns to a life of crime, partnering with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), by producing and distributing crystal meth to secure his family's financial future before he dies, while navigating the dangers of the criminal underworld. According to Gilligan, the title is a Southern colloquialism meaning "to raise hell".Among the show's co-stars are Anna Gunn and RJ Mitte as Walter's wife Skyler and son Walter Jr., and Betsy Brandt and Dean Norris as Skyler's sister Marie Schrader and her husband Hank, a DEA agent. Others include Bob Odenkirk as White's and Pinkman's sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman, Jonathan Banks as private investigator and fixer Mike Ehrmantraut, and Giancarlo Esposito as drug kingpin Gus Fring. The final season introduces Jesse Plemons as the criminally ambitious Todd Alquist, and Laura Fraser as Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, a cunning business executive secretly managing Walter's global meth sales for her company.
Breaking Bad's first season received generally positive reviews, while the rest of its run received universal acclaim.