4. Breaking Bad
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks
Premiere Date: To be determined
Why we’re excited: Little is known about Breaking Bad’s forthcoming fifth season, other than the fact that it’s going to be the superlative AMC show’s final run, and that it will last 16 episodes. But will those 16 hours be split into two years’ worth of entertainment, or run through an expanded season? And just when in 2012 will the end begin?
Answers to those burning inquiries won’t likely surface for another couple of months, and that’s peachy keen with us—there’s no doubt in our minds that Breaking Bad mastermind Vince Gilligan won’t chump out in any way, shape, or form while concluding the bloody, dark, and riveting story of chemistry teacher turned crystal meth dealer Walter White (the phenomenal Bryan Cranston) and his tormented, erratic lackey Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul).
As Breaking Bad's exceptional fourth season ended, Walt’s manipulations and one-track-minded survival tactics reached new heights of intelligence, so something tells us that he’s about to start calling the shots, and your boy Pinkman isn’t going to take it well. And there’s also that little matter of Walt’s DEA agent of a brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris) still not knowing about Walt’s dark side, and, yes, seasoned killer Mike (Jonathan Banks) is out there, somewhere, and he’s most likely not going to be pleased about Gus’ (Giancarlo Esposito) explosive exit. Which is all to say: Fuck, we can’t wait for Breaking Bad to come back.