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Film & DVD

How Netflix survived – and gave life to Breaking Bad and House of Cards

A Netflix exec on the new TV ball game

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But what about the show itself?

“The different thing this season is that it puts much more emphasis on Claire [Underwood]; she really comes into her own,” Friedland says about the beloved character masterfully played by Robin Wright. When asked about the series killing Congressman Russo (Corey Stoll) way too soon in Season 1, Friedland laughs and warns: “Oh, we loved Russo too, but we’re just going to keep killing ’em off. You have no idea. I’ve seen the first three episodes, and it’s nasty but fun. Just because we like a character, we’re not necessarily going to let it stick around for very long.”

Next for Netflix is to consolidate its streaming of Netflix-produced feature films (which began with the Oscar-nominated The Square and continued with Mitt and the kiddie golf doc The Short Game) and shows like the new exclusive hit Orange Is the New Black. But no other show has created a bigger buzz than the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul, starring shady lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), which premieres in November. The entire first season of the show – an AMC-Netflix collaboration in the U.S. and a Netflix exclusive in the rest of the world – will stream on Netflix in the U.S. and Canada after the end of its AMC run, and in Latin America and Europe shortly after the U.S. series premiere. And get this: Better Call Saul has already secured the return of Walter White nemesis Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), and Bryan Cranston (Walt) and Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) are willing if not eager to join as well.

“Both Bryan and I want to be a part of that, if they’ll have us,” Paul told Details magazine. “I’d be open to it for sure,” Cranston told Rolling Stone. “It’d be fun to go back into the New Mexico desert and play with my friends.”

So what is it, Mr. Friedland? Will Walt and Jesse be back?

“Oh, man … I don’t get involved in casting,” Friedland said. “But the good thing is that, in a prequel, a lot of people are still alive, so who knows?”

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