Breaking Bad, a TV show permanently hung onto television's wall of fame, whipped itself from a critically acclaimed yet not exactly ratings dominant TV show into THE bizz-bizz-buzzy pop culture phenomenon of the year as the series raced to its end. How did it happen? According to Breaking Bad's creator Vince Gilligan, illegal downloads help.
Gilligan told the BBC:
“I see that there are two sides to this coin. If I’m being honest I see that the illegal downloading led to a lot of people watching the series, becoming aware of the series who otherwise would not have been... I see that in some ways illegal downloading has helped us, certainly in terms of brand awareness, so that’s a good side.”
Now it's not as if Gilligan is promoting pirating TV shows because he's clearly not. But he's absolutely acknowledging the help that the choppy waves of torrenting can provide for TV shows. You get buzz! You get the Internet to love you! You just don't get paid.
So of course Gilligan would still rather have people download TV shows legitimately so people "who worked on the show would’ve made more money" (duh) but it seems like most showrunners are realizing a little sacrifice in accepting pirates can eventually add up to bigger ratings and bigger buzz which is better for them. [BBC via Torrent Freak]