Question: How good is Breaking Bad?! No, how wonderful... finally, a dark comedy that delivers on the promises of its genre, and on the small screen, no less! Thank you so much for the advance notice on this excellent show. Bryan Cranston fulfills a certain potential I've always seen in him (beyond his extremely skilled, broadly comedic talents) in an awe-inspiring turn. The premise and the supporting performances (particularly in the portrayal of the sisterly bond between Mrs. White and her wonderfully acidic sister and the on-the-mark boorishness of the latter's husband) seem more than capable of succeeding in the long term. How well did the show do, and how well does it have to do to be considered a success by AMC's standards? This show has made a true new fan in me.
Answer: From the early numbers that were reported, it seems the show got off to about as good a start as Mad Men, so let's stay hopeful. This isn't nearly as easy a show to watch for a variety of reasons, so I'm not expecting it to earn blockbuster ratings. But AMC is reestablishing its brand with these new dramas, and it won't happen overnight. As long as the buzz is good — and most of the reviews I saw for Breaking Bad were encouraging — it will likely be deemed a success.

Another fan, Belly, wrote in to ask: "I know I'm getting ahead of myself, having no idea how this show will do in the ratings, but given the premise of the show — that he is dying — would this be a one-season show? For now, I'm just glad to be enjoying a scripted new show!"

Isn't that the truth! The short answer is no, Breaking Bad isn't intended to be a single-season series (in other words, a miniseries). I only saw three of the seven episodes in advance (which means I'm caught up through this weekend), and so I have no idea where we're left in the finale, but I'm betting it's open-ended and that Walt's illness is going to linger for as long as the story needs it to.