Just four episodes into the second season of Breaking Bad, which premiered in March, AMC has announced it is picking up Vince Gilligan’s drama for a third season.
Following a well-received first season that earned the show two Emmy Awards, the second season has garnered even more critical acclaim and commercial success.
The second-season opener of the Sony-produced series, set and filmed in Albuquerque, N.M., drew 1.7 million viewers, up 21 percent from its first season debut.
Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as a high-strung high school chemistry teacher who becomes a meth manufacturer after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Co-starring on the series, which is executive produced by Vince Gilligan and Mark Johnson, are Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris and Betsy Brandt.
Breaking Bad joins fellow AMC drama Mad Men in being picked up early.
Similarly, Lifetime reenlisted Army Wives for a fourth campaign before its third even premiered, while Friday Night Lights just received an unusual two-season renewal by NBC and DirecTV.