The AMC series Breaking Bad is down to its last 5 episodes and creating a buzz like few, if any television shows have done in their final seasons.
The creative forces of the show have individual histories in television that are diverse and impressive, but most would agree that this show has been their finest hour up to this point. The cast members, for the most part, have film credits as well as having appeared on other small screen (can you use that expression anymore considering today’s huge televisions?) shows, but this list will stick to their former TV incarnations. The show’s creator and writers, of course have their own backgrounds in television.
This list is one stop shopping for those curious Breaking Bad fans who might not be aware of the good work these folks did before they broke bad. Could anyone have foreseen that a group like this would come together in a show with such a compelling premise and unique approach to storytelling? Maybe there were omens…
Breaking Bad creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan cut his teeth writing for this sci-fi drama series. He also produced and executive produced for the show.
Breaking Bad writers John Shiban and Thomas Schnauz also wrote for The X-files.
Bryan Cranston (Walter White) guest starred in the episode ‘Drive.’
So Walt and Jesse can truly claim Scully and Mulder as their predecessors, but on the other side of the law.
Malcolm in the Middle
As father figures go, Bryan Cranston has proven to have a wide range of acting chops to so deftly portray two dads at the opposite ends of the character spectrum. His role on this sitcom pre-Heisenberg kept it light, and avoided racking up a body count.
Bob Odenkirk created an array of characters for this sketch comedy series and impressed Vince Gilligan that Odenkirk was harboring an inner Saul Goodman, and that it needed to be set loose in the world.
Odenkirk has risen to the occasion dramatically when called for as well. The Goodman character is set to have a life after BB. Who ya gonna call?
He’s not in the picture, but Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) had a recurring role as Scott Quittman on this series that featured the ups and downs of the polygamous marriage option.
Pushing the envelope and testing boundaries- yeah bitches!
Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) had a previous outing in the domain of crime drama in this series.
Frank McPike, a younger and less gray version of Mike was supervisor and mentor to main character agent Vinnie Terranova. Shades of Mike and Jesse.
Tremors : The Series
Dean Norris was one of the stars of this television version of the sci-fi film series.
As DEA agent Hank Schrader, Norris is at ground zero for the meltdown of his brother-in-law Walt’s drug lord career.
The Lone Gunmen
A series that was spun-off from The X-Files, this show’s premise involved computer nerdly investigators specializing in getting to the truth behind various conspiracy theories.
Vince Gilligan was a co-creator, writer, and executive producer for the show.
Anna Gunn, pre-Skyler White, had a stint in the old west on this critically acclaimed HBO series. Lots of gun slinging but less meth money driven madness, and no cars to wash.
Without a Trace
Betsy Brandt who would be cast as Hank Schrader’s wife Marie had a recurring role in this series about an FBI special missing persons unit.
Maybe not so much then, but more recently they might start looking in Belize…
“Is it safe?” Little did Jerry know in the ’90s that his dentist Tim Whatley would go on to be the notorious drug lord Heisenberg.
Stick to the novacaine. Avoid the ricin…