Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston

Former "Malcolm in the Middle" star Bryan Cranston is close to securing his first regular TV gig since the FOX show ended last season.

"Breaking Bad," a pilot Cranston filmed for cable network AMC, is close to earning a series order, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If it does get the green light, it will become the channel's second original drama series following "Mad Men," a show about the go-go advertising world of the 1960s that's scheduled to premiere in July. The network also airs "Hustle," an import from the BBC.

In "Breaking Bad," Cranston will play a high-school science teacher who's diagnosed with terminal cancer. Applying the knowledge he imparts to his chemistry students, he sets up a meth lab to earn some quick money and provide for his wife and son following his death.

Anna Gunn ("Deadwood"), Aaron Paul ("Mission: Impossible III"), Dean Norris ("Evan Almighty") and Betsy Brandt ("Back When We Were Grownups") also star in the show, which "X-Files" veteran Vince Gilligan created.

Cranston earned three Emmy nominations for playing hapless father Hal on "Malcolm in the Middle." He's also guested on "Seinfeld" and "How I Met Your Mother" and played the devil in ABC Family's miniseries "Fallen" last year.

In addition to "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men," AMC is also developing a western project with Walter Hill, who directed the channel's highly rated movie "Broken Trail," and co-producing a remake of the cult 1960s series "The Prisoner" with British producer Granada.