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emmys 2012

Showrunner Survey: Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan Wants a Mythbusters Crossover

In our series of 2012 Vulture Showrunner Surveys, 30 Rock co-chief Robert Carlock admitted a fixation with Hogan's Heroes, and Girls creator-star Lena Dunham revealed a desire to have Hannah Horvath meet Meredith Grey. (Shonda Rhimes, get a move on!) Now Breaking Bad boss Vince Gilligan tells us which reality show he'd like to see Wendy the Meth Whore visit, and whose tunes he’d license if he had an unlimited music budget. Plus, his thoughts on why Cousin Oliver was the worst thing to happen to The Brady Bunch.

What's the first TV show you remember being obsessed with?
Star Trek
and then M*A*S*H. Then, in college, Wise Guy and The Equalizer.

True or false: When I was growing up, the day the TV Guide "Fall Preview" issue came out was almost as good as the last day of school.
Back then, I was more of a Mad Magazine guy.

Which show would you like to do a crossover event with and why?
Mythbusters
. I'd dig seeing those guys prove or disprove some of the crazy stuff we've done on Breaking Bad.

If you could bring back any killed-off TV character for just one more episode, who would it be?
Three characters: The Lone Gunmen. I miss writing for them. They were such cockeyed optimists, and they had passion.

Which writers' room in all of TV history would you most like to have gotten to sit in on?
Rod Serling's. To the best of my knowledge, The Twilight Zone didn't actually have a writers' room. Still, I'd give my eye teeth to hang out in Rod's home office in the Palisades, watching him act out episodes into a Bakelite Dictaphone.

Finish this sentence: The hardest thing to pull off on a TV show is …
Consistency. Unless we're talking consistent shittiness.

Do time slots still matter? Explain.
Not as much as they used to, certainly. Studio and network support — that still trumps all.

Pick one character from your show; which reality show would (s)he be most suited for, and why?
I'm not that up on my reality television. However, I'd love to see Wendy the Meth Whore on Charlie Rose.

If you had an unlimited music budget, which artist or group would you hire to compose the soundtrack for your show?
Mozart. (You did say unlimited, though I have to believe the resulting time-travel technology we’d develop might have dire consequences for mankind.)

Which character do you wish you had created?
Barney Fife. Truly, one of the all-time greats. I am completely serious about this.

What was the biggest creative misstep you ever saw made by a show you love?
Adding Cousin Oliver to The Brady Bunch. You've got six kids already, for Christ's sake!

If you could let your kids watch a single episode of your work, which one would it be and why?
My shows are my kids.

Photo: Gregory Peters/AMC