BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan said he expects the series finale to be well-received but is guarding against wild optimism.
"I think most folks are going to dig the ending," he told a session of the Television Critics Association on Friday. "But you be the judge."
He and the drama's cast, including Bryan Cranston who stars as teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White, were mum about what's in store when the AMC drama concludes later this year. It returns for its final hurrah, the second half of its last season, on Sunday, Aug. 11.
But the actors were willing to joke about it.
"I think everybody will be satisfied with the ending where we hug it out," Cranston said.
"Bryan, don't mention the musical numbers," chimed in Betsy Brandt, who plays Marie Schrader.
At least one character, attorney Saul Goodman, may live on. Gilligan said he is "working toward" a sequel featuring Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk.
"I would love to do it, would do it in a second," said Odenkirk. "Because if Vince wrote it, it would be awesome."
Bereft fans of the drama also will be left with a comprehensive documentary that Gilligan said has long been in the works. The filmmaker, Stu Richardson, was hired by the studio, Sony, to shoot behind-the-scenes material that's been used in boxed sets, Gilligan said.
The documentary may be available exclusively as part of the show's complete Blu-ray and DVD sets, he said.
"I don't know the ins and outs, but I've seen the damn thing and it's really good," Gilligan added.
Asked if he had kept a long-imagined ending in mind for "Breaking Bad," Gilligan said he couldn't recall exactly "what my original intention was." He recounted his pitch for the drama as, "We're going to take Mr. Chips and turns him into Scarface," film references to the teacher of "Mr. Chips" and the gangster of "Scarface."
"Having said that, it leaves an awful lot of room for changing up the plot. I couldn't see that far into the future" to the finale, he said.
More TV press tour news
It got a little awkward during NBC's "Parenthood" panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour when Craig T. Nelson was asked about whether he regrets making recent comments about the network not supporting the show.
Last March, Nelson was quoted as saying NBC was "out of it" and didn't do enough to promote the series.
On Saturday Nelson said, "You get associated with a show that you love and a show that you believe in and a cast that's just extraordinary and you get frustrated with the fact that it doesn't seem to be honored the way that you feel it should be... I've been doing like 18 years of series television and I haven't been associated with a show...t his wonderful."
Nelson went on to say he was "proud" of speaking out.
Executive Producer Jason Katims countered the comments saying, "The fact that we're sitting here on a panel going into a fifth season is indicative of the passion the network does feel for the show."
The network has picked up "Parenthood" for 22 episodes for its fifth season. The last time it had a full order was the show's second season. "Parenthood" follows a large family living in the San Francisco area with all of its ups-and-downs. It also stars Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard and Erika Christensen.
It premieres Sept. 26 at 10 p.m.
? Ohno commentary: Apolo Anton Ohno is hanging up his skates to join NBC's coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian in history will work as an analyst on speedskating, in addition to doing features and studio commentary during the network's coverage in February.
Ohno says he may also contribute to NBC's coverage of Alpine skiing and snowboarding in Sochi, Russia.
"Hopefully I can give people a good show," he said Saturday at the Television Critics Association meeting.
Ohno recently retired without fanfare, although he hadn't competed since the 2010 Vancouver Games. He won eight medals in three Olympics.
"I miss it every day," he said. At the same time, Ohno said, "I don't want to get in that skinsuit."
? Nancy vs. Tonya: A new documentary on former Olympic figure skating rivals Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding that includes an exclusive interview with Kerrigan will air during NBC's Winter Olympics coverage in February.
Mary Carillo will interview both women on the 20th anniversary of their dramatic showdown at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
NBC's program will air three months after ESPN's "Tonya and Nancy" documentary, set for Nov. 5. That film includes new interviews with Harding, although ESPN Films said earlier this week it is still trying to persuade Kerrigan to grant an interview.
Both documentaries will recount the Jan. 6, 1994, incident in which Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee after practice for the U.S. championships in a plot masterminded by Harding's ex-husband. At the Olympics, Kerrigan won a silver medal and Harding finished eighth.
In the NBC program, Carillo interviews both Kerrigan and Harding about what they learned and where they are now.
Kerrigan has shunned the spotlight since retiring to focus on raising her three children. Harding is married with a child and has participated in several sports and reality shows.
Beth Harris and Alicia Rancilio of The Associated Press also contributed to this report.