Interlochen Alumnus Vince Gilligan Wins Emmy Top Honors

Crescendo issue: October 2013
"I feel like I'm dreaming! Pinch me, I can't even believe it!"

Those were the words that Vince Gilligan uttered before Brian Cranston slapped him (joking immediately after "Oh! You said pinch you").

Gilligan, an Interlochen Arts Academy Alumnus, along with his fellow "Breaking Bad" cast and crew, were celebrating the fact that they had just won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

"You have hopes and dreams, but I never even thought this show would go on the air," said Gilligan, who created "Breaking Bad," a series that follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to ensure his family's financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White's releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.

"It's a crazy premise for a show and it's so dark and edgy," he continued. "You would think, 'This is never gonna fly, we're never gonna get to shoot a pilot.' When that happened, I couldn't believe it. When we got a season one, couldn't believe it. Season two, season three, onward and onward and now we're standing here, six years later, with more viewers than we've ever had, one week away from our final episode, with Emmys in our hands."

The hotly anticipated series finale aired on Sunday, September 29 to record viewership numbers on AMC. 

Aside from his outstanding Breaking Bad success, Gilligan is making headlines with his newly developed series, titled "Battle Creek."

"Battle Creek" was first developed by Gilligan (who is also a veteran of the popular TV series "X Files") a decade ago, before "Breaking Bad" elevated him to the Hollywood elite. 

He is making a 13-part series for CBS, the network for whom he previously developed it in 2002. It is expected to broadcast in 2014.

Battle Creek tells the story of two detectives in the Michigan town of the same name who have contrasting approaches to law enforcement – to do it by the book, or by whatever means necessary.

The series will be made by Sony TV and CBS TV studios, with Gilligan reportedly interested in directing. Along with "Battle Creek," Gilligan is also working on a "Breaking Bad" spinoff titled "Better Call Saul" that will be based upon the show's sleazy lawyer character.