updated 01:18 am EDT, Tue September 24, 2013
Decision by producers to split season costs Apple, spawns lawsuit
A move by AMC, the producers of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, to split the last season of the show into two eight-episode seasons for digital distribution has caused a rift with fans that bought a "Season Pass" from iTunes for the fifth season, expecting 16 episodes but only receiving eight -- and having to buy the newly-created "Final Season" to get the last eight shows. The move spawned a lawsuit over the artificial division, but Apple has circumvented its demands by sending emails crediting buyers of the "Final Season" for their cost.
It should be noted that buyers of the "Fifth Season" of Breaking Bad only paid the normal cost of eight episodes, and consequently may have been unrealistic in expecting all 16 episodes. However, when the season commenced, few fans understood that the prolonged break between the first and second half of the season would be later considered two separate seasons for marketing purposes.
Apple has begun sending emails to buyers of the "Fifth Season" that apologizes for any confusion, and points out that the naming of seasons and episodes selected for each were not chosen by iTunes. Nevertheless, the email says "we'd like to offer you the 'Final Season' on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99." The code, the email notes, can also be used for other iTunes content, amounting to a refund for those who have already purchased the "Final Season."
The first part of the fifth season aired between mid-July and early September of 2012. The second part aired just over a year later, beginning on August 11, 2013. The finale of the show airs on Sunday.