How ‘Breaking Bad’ Made Mike Schur Realize He Wanted a Smaller Episode Order for ‘The Good Place’

TCA 2019: Schur wanted his NBC afterlife comedy to have the same “narrative propulsion” as AMC’s meth drama

good place breaking bad

For “Good Place” fans that may be upset the NBC comedy is ending after only four seasons and just over 50 episodes, Mike Schur says to blame “Breaking Bad.”

“There have been a number of shows in the recent past that had benefited from shorter orders and from a lot of narrative propulsion, like ‘Breaking Bad,’” Schur said on Thursday during the Television Critics Association press tour. He mentioned that the AMC series was wrapping up its celebrated run right about the time he was coming up with the idea of for his NBC afterlife comedy.

“It felt like ‘Breaking Bad’ had been on for like 15 years, as it was such a part of all our lives… it was like 60 episodes.” Schur was almost right. “Breaking Bad” ended in 2013 after 62 episodes and five seasons.

“From the moment I pitched the show to Universal and NBC, baked into it was: We’re going to move really fast,” Schur continued.

That was made apparent during the first season of the show, which blew up the premise in the final episode (spoiler alert: They were actually in The Bad Place the whole time). In the two seasons since then, the narrative has been upended consistently after just a few episodes. Schur argued there would no way to do a show like that if it was a typical network sitcom, with 22 or 24-episode seasons.

“I think it was exactly the right number of episodes for the seasons,” he said. “We got exactly the story that we wanted to tell in under the wire.”

“The Good Place” returns for its fourth and final season Thursday, Sept. 26 on NBC at 9 p.m. ET/PT.