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Breaking Bad will not return until July 2011

AMC has announced that the fourth season of Breaking Bad will not premiere until July 2011, which is more than a full year after the third season finale. As a consolation, the network will produce several mini-episodes for AMC’s website to fill the hiatus, and star Bryan Cranston, for one, wants to make sure that they’re not just “filler or recap, but something that actually moves the story forward.” Unfortunately for Cranston, AMC’s decision makes him ineligible for another Emmy nomination next year, leaving the door wide open for, say, The Defenders’ Jim Belushi to sneak in and steal it all. He’s being fairly diplomatic about it, however, telling Deadline he believes this will mean “less competition” if the show launches in the summer. For fans, the idea that anyone would actually choose to ignore Breaking Bad in favor of whatever midseason replacements the networks are serving up is probably laughable, but such are the whims of your basic cable overlords. Good thing last season didn’t end on a cliffhanger or anything.

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