Breaking Bad will not return for its fourth season until July 2011, and as a result will not be eligible for next year's Emmy Awards. So if Bryan Cranston repeats for best drama actor this year, he will not get a shot at a shot at a three-peat four-peat (oops, he has already won the last two, so if he wins at the end of the month he will have three-peated).
AMC plans to put up mini-episodes on the Web early next year to bridge the gap. Um...okay, good luck with that.
I'm not sure of the reasoning for the longer-than-normal break, and I'm trying to find out. I'm sure fans won't like it or think it's a good idea. One guess is that between picking up a couple of new originals (Walking Dead and now The Killing) there is just the need for some schedule maneuvering.
Another guess, and one that seems more likely to me is that AMC wants to see what happens with Breaking Bad's ratings if it airs the show during the less competitive summer months instead of up against Sunday broadcast originals. While Breaking Bad hasn't drawn as many viewers as Mad Men, it has done as well with the ad-centric adults 18-49 ratings.
Perhaps AMC will go for packing a powerful Emmy punch by pairing Mad Men and Breaking Bad together making Sunday nights in the summer both a joy and a pain in the ass for the likes of Alan Sepinwall.