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Facts From a TV Junkie: 'Breaking Bad'

Hello all! Chances are if you're reading this it means you, much like myself, are addicted to TV. You just can't ever get enough of that small screen action! Well, I'm here to tell you that I feel your pain and would like to help you in your noble quest for TV knowledge, which is why I've taken it upon myself to create this fun, weekly feature. Every week, I will dig up new and interesting facts about a show and share them with you right here. So sit back, relax, and let the trivia madness begin!

Let's kick things off with a show that is just a few, mere episodes away from leaving our TV screens for good (NOOO!!!). I'm, of course, referring to AMC's popular hit, 'Breaking Bad.' For years we've watched as Walt descended into darkness, leaving nothing but a trail of dead bodies (and blue crystal) in his wake. However, there are still a few things to learn about our favorite meth-making kingpin and co. Such as…

Did You Know:

1. Jesse was supposed to die at the end of Season one.

Aaron Paul on the set of Breaking Bad

No, this is not a joke. Executive producer Vince Gilligan had originally planned to kill off Aaron Paul's character at the end of the first season. But as luck would have it, the 2008 Writer's Guild strike cut the season short at seven episodes, giving Gilligan enough time to recognize the undeniable chemistry between Paul and Bryan Cranston before reassessing the relationship. Thank goodness for that! 

2. The intro showcases the chemical formula of meth.

Breaking Bad intro

In the beginning of each episode, the chemical formula C10H15N and number 149.24 can all be seen right before the title 'Breaking Bad' appears. There's a reason for that. C10H15N is actually the formula for methamphetamine, which just so happens to have a molecular weight of 149.24. (See Mom, I told you watching television can be educational!) Yeah chemistry, bitch!

3. The blue meth is actually rock candy.

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston on Breaking Bad

Sorry folks, but that premium-quality blue crank Walter White's been toting all around Albuquerque is actually just blue-colored rock candy. (In actuality, meth can never be blue). But don't worry — I'm sure it's the purest crystallized sugar the world has ever seen.

4. Bryan Cranston was cast based on his performance in an episode of 'The X-Files.'

Bryan Cranston on The X-Files

Turns out Gilligan and Cranston knew each other long before 'Breaking Bad' reached our television screens. While guest starring on the sixth season of Gilligan's other popular hit show 'The X-Files,' the producer was so impressed by Cranston's performance that he immediately wanted him for the part of Walter White. However…

5. Bryan Cranston almost didn't get the part.

Split image of John Cusack and Matthew Broderick

Though Gilligan was convinced of his talent, the network executives didn't think Cranston would be a good fit due to his previous comedic roles (i.e. 'Malcolm in the Middle'). In fact, both John Cusack and Matthew Broderick were offered the role (which they passed on). However, a quick screening of Cranston's Patrick Crump was enough to change their minds and he was immediately given the part.

6. Hector "Tio" Salamanca was originally meant to be the main villain, not Gus Fring.

An angry Tio on the set of Breaking Bad

Actor Giancarlo Esposito was only supposed to appear in a guest-starring capacity in Season 2, but in true Gus Fring-style, he was able to negotiate his role to a full-time status for seasons three and four.

7. Heisenberg is named after a theoretical physicist.

Bryan Cranston as Heisenberg

Nothing on this show is ever arbitrary and that includes Walter White's alias name, Heisenberg. This name was chosen as a tribute to Werner Heisenberg, who formulated the uncertainty principle, stating that it is impossible to determine simultaneously both the position and velocity of an electron or other particles with any great degree of accuracy or certainty. Kinda reminds you of the unpredictable nature of the Heisenberg we've grown to love, don't you think? You just never know what he'll do next.

8. RJ Mitte, the actor who portrays Walter Jr. (aka Flynn), actually has cerebral palsy in real life.

RJ Mitte as Walt Jr.

However, his condition is a much milder form than his character's, so he had to learn to walk with crutches and slow down his speech for the role.

9. Los Pollos Hermanos has its own Yelp page.

Yelp page of Los Pollos Hermanos

I kid you not, Gus Fring's fictitious fried chicken joint is alive and well on Yelp. It's pretty much the greatest thing ever and has even earned some pretty rave reviews.

10. Bryan Cranston has a 'Breaking Bad' tattoo.

Bryan Cranston shows off his Breaking Bad tattoo

In honor of the show that made him both loved and feared throughout the world, Cranston got the series' logo "Br Ba" tattooed on the inside of his finger. Heisenberg would definitely approve.

11. It costs $3 million to shoot one episode of the show.

Skyler and Walt look at their pile of money on Breaking Bad

This means that a typical 13-episode season was at least $39 million. That's a lot of dough, even for a show centered around the meth-making business.

12. The Blue Power Ranger, Billy Cranston, was actually named after Bryan Cranston.

Blue Power Ranger Billy Cranston

How crazy is this? I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't come right from Cranston himself: "One of my jobs as a young actor starting out was voiceover. I also did dubbing…one of the places that did a lot of that was Saban Entertainment. And they would take movies and then cartoons from all over the world and we'd go and do the English dub. And the 'Power Rangers' came in and I did some voices for that…they actually named one of the Power Rangers after me." Just when you think the guy can't get any cooler.

13. Saul Goodman's name was derived from the saying "it's all good, man."

Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad

And you know he wouldn't want it any other way. And if it’s not all good? Better Call Saul!

14. Marie's baby bump made an appearance in Season 2.

Marie and Skyler on the set of Breaking Bad

Betsy Brandt - who plays Marie on the show - was pregnant in real life during the show's second season. So whenever possible, producers used close-ups of Brandt's actual bare belly when shooting scenes centered around Skyler's pregnancy. Makes those sonogram scenes seem pretty authentic now, huh?

15. Aaron Paul was a contestant on 'The Price Is Right.'

Aaron Paul as a contestant on The Price is Right

He even made it to the Showcase Showdown, but unfortunately didn't win (he overbid by $132). Oh, and did I mention he was working at the Gap at the time? Let's just be grateful this hidden gem didn't stay hidden for too long. *Swoon*

I hope everyone enjoyed this week's installment of Facts From a TV Junkie. Be sure to check back next week for another fix!

- Breaking Bad
- Bryan Cranston
- Aaron Paul
- Anna Gunn
- Bob Odenkirk
- Betsy Brandt
- amc

Written by: Kelly_Schremph
Sep 16th, 2013, 3:01 am

Images courtesy of AMC and CBS


Level 1 (62%)
Since: 14/Dec/11
Message Posted On Sep 16th, 2013, 11:52 pm

I can't help myself....

The price is wrong Bitch...

Classic line from Happy Gilmore... but it fits here...


Level 2 (71%)
Since: 02/Mar/10
Message Posted On Sep 16th, 2013, 12:14 pm

 #1: First good thing (for viewers) I've seen to come out of the writer's strike.



The other day, someone on the imdb Babylon 5 board reminded me that Bryan Cranston was on B5 (long before his Malcom days).


Level 1 (54%)
Points: 9.9
Mood: depressed
Since: 14/May/13
Message Posted On Sep 16th, 2013, 11:11 am

Good info... I too knew a few of these but a few through me for a loop

(Global Editor)

Level 39 (91%)
Points: 17879.2
Since: 07/Jul/10
Message Posted On Sep 16th, 2013, 4:37 am

Great work. I knew a few of these already, but interesting and entertaining read overall. Thumbs up.

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