How ‘Malcolm’ and ‘The X-Files’ Helped Bryan Cranston Star in ‘Breaking Bad’

How ‘Malcolm’ and ‘The X-Files’ Helped Bryan Cranston Star in ‘Breaking Bad’
How ‘Malcolm’ and ‘The X-Files’ Helped Bryan Cranston Star in ‘Breaking Bad’

Cranston was Vince Gilligan’s favorite, but he was also in the right place at the right time

Cancellations on television hurt, but sometimes, and only sometimes, we find cases where something positive can be obtained. In 2006, after seven seasons and 151 episodes, ‘Malcolm’ was cancelled. He did it with a Linwood Boomer I was already seeing it coming and that it had a prepared ending, but it also left orphaned many fans of what at that time was one of the most unique sitcoms on television.

Of course, if it hadn’t happened, we would have been left without the ‘Breaking Bad’ that we know. During a time in the 2000s, Bryan Cranston’s role as Walter Whiten was hanging by a thread due to a series of logistical conditions and disputes between Vince Gilligan, its creator, and AMC, the network behind the series. But above all it depended on the cancellation of ‘Malcolm’. “If they had approved an eighth season, someone else would have played Walter White because I wouldn’t have been available, because that was the summer I read Vince’s script,” Cranston said in an interview with GQ.

The first option for Vince Gilligan

The cancellation of ‘Malcolm’ however It was inevitable. The series had been losing audience for a few years. One of the main reasons is attributed to his change of schedule, he changed from prime time to the complicated slot of Friday nights. It was in the seventh season when it was decided to give him an honorable death. Meanwhile, from AMC, Gilligan’s series was being put together.

The creator of ‘Breaking Bad’ had been clear from the beginning that he wanted Cranston for the role of White. I had worked with him years ago. in an episode of ‘The X-Files’ that he had written, and was delighted with how his portrayal of the villain had a very human dimension. She was exactly what Gilligan was looking for in his new leading lady.

If it weren’t for that episode, which served Cranston in some way as an indirect audition to show the AMC team, Gilligan would have had a much more difficult time convincing the studio. In an interview he stated that although he always loved ‘Malcolm’, it was a double-edged sword, since many on AMC they didn’t see him outside of the role of the “dumb father”. Other members of the production were clearer: “Sony liked the idea. Because it is perverse, and it is ironic, to have one of the most famous fathers on television in such a different role.”

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