Apple (AAPL) has admitted that the final 16 episodes of Breaking Bad are just a single season with an extra-long gap in the middle.
The company recently faced a class-action lawsuit from an irritated fan who had paid for an iTunes Season Pass for the dark drama’s concluding episodes—all dubbed Season 5 by the AMC network (AMCX)—only to find that Apple considered the finale to consist of two discrete seasons and wanted another payment for the last eight shows. The earliest chapters from the final season began airing in July 2012, with a nearly year-long wait for the ending.
Apple has started sending e-mails to customers who purchased the first half of the show’s final season, as the Verge reported, giving them a way to credit their accounts with enough to pay for the last eight episodes. Here’s the e-mail (in which Apple seems to argue that it’s really two seasons, but admits that AMC gets the final word):
We apologize for any confusion the naming of “Season 5″ and “The Final Season” of Breaking Bad might have caused you. While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, 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. This credit can also be used for any other content on the iTunes Store. Thank you for your purchase.
Detailed instructions for redeeming the code can be found at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1574.
AMC has been splitting hit shows into mini-seasons for a while. It does the same thing with the Walking Dead, and recently announced that Mad Men‘s final season will also be split into two chunks. The network, it would seem, is trying to buy time to find hits to take their place. But are we really going to care much how AMC doles out for episodes of Better Call Saul?