Fans Fear ‘Breaking Bad’ Is Leaving Netflix in 2021, But Is It True?

Netflix giveth, and Netflix taketh away.

Fans of the streaming service know all the well to look out for the inevitable update at the end of each month. Not only is there an exciting list of new content, but to make room for all of it, they always take away a batch of favorite titles. And Breaking Bad fans fear that Walter White will be on the chopping block next.

To be clear — there hasn’t been a formal announcement that Breaking Bad is exiting Netflix anytime soon. However, a group of Redditors think it’s a good possibility for 2021.

AMC is expanding their streaming service

Walter White in Breaking Bad
Walter White in ‘Breaking Bad’ | Doug Hyun/AMC

The whole theory began because of a cryptic message one Reddit user got while trying to download an episode of Breaking Bad. But even if that can be chalked up to a technical glitch, it does bring up some very logical questions.

First, nothing stays on Netflix forever. And now Breaking Bad has been on for years, making it a likely candidate to leave soon, no matter the viewership numbers. It could have something to do with Breaking Bad’s parent network, AMC, expanding their own streaming services. An easy way to boost those subscriber numbers is by making their most popular show ever an exclusive.

And they’ve set the precedent before. Mad Men exited Netflix in June 2020 and is now only available to customers who have the premium AMC Premiere or AMC+. But again, it’s all speculative, and there’s currently no definitive date for Breaking Bad leaving Netflix.

Netflix helped make ‘Breaking Bad’ a smash hit

RELATED: ‘Better Call Saul’: Fans Are Ready to See More ‘Breaking Bad’ Cameos in Season 6

No matter when the series gets taken off Netflix, the impact of the streaming service cannot be overstated. Vox referred to it as the “Netflix effect” that took Breaking Bad from a fringe drama to the ratings juggernaut it eventually became.

The series had plenty of fans just from word of mouth. But when early seasons came to Netflix while new ones were premiering, it opened a whole new treasure trove of viewers who quickly became devoted Baddies and took those numbers to new heights. For comparison’s sake, the season 4 finale had 2 million viewers while the series finale just two years later had 10 million.

AMC execs insist this was only partially thanks to Netflix. They also credit their frequent marathons on TV and just general hype surrounding the show. No matter what, Netflix definitely helped their situation.

‘Breaking Bad’ is still popular on Netflix alongside ‘Better Call Saul’

The series finale of Breaking Bad aired back in 2013 but the prequel lives on. And just like with the original, showrunners are using Netflix to help promote their series to a larger audience.

The first four seasons of Better Call Saul, the spinoff prequel to Breaking Bad, are all available on Netflix. Season 5 will likely become available closer to the season 6 premiere in late 2021 or early 2022. And those fans are likely some of the ones still binge-watching Breaking Bad periodically until it leaves for good.

For now, Breaking Bad is still available on Netflix. But it’s probably best to watch it again start to finish right now before it’s gone for good.