Better Call Saul is Breaking Bad's prequel and AMC's throwing complete support behind production.
What's AMC to do with critical darling Breaking Bad off the air?
Create Better Call Saul, a spin-off, with 10 episodes the first season.
And then you green light a second season before the first even premieres.
Entertainment Weekly's Dan Snierson reported on June 19 that Better Call Saul's first season was bumped from late 2014 until early 2015. Season two will premiere a year later in early 2016.
"AMC orders second season of 'Breaking Bad' spin-off 'Better Call Saul,'" moves season 1 debut to early 2015" lists the series as a prequel to Breaking Bad. The show will follow shady lawyer Saul Goodman before he meets and falls into the shadow filled world of meth kingpin and high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston).
Saul will star Bob Odenkirk, who originated the role on Breaking Bad and will be produced by Breaking Bad executive producers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. Gilligan dreamed up the Bad world while Gould created the Goodman character.
A lot of the former cast and production staff are involved in the transition. Jonathan Banks is returning as fixer Mike Ehrmantraut and writer-producers Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchinson are kicking around the writing staff this time around.
And AMC president Charlie Collier has absolute faith in the Saul production. "We have a strong history with Vince, Peter, Bob, the studio and so many involved with this production." Among the new editions of the cast are Michael McKean, Patrick Fabian, Rhea Seehorn, and Michael Mando.
The new kids will have a lot to live up to since Breaking Bad won ten Primetime Emmys, six Writer Guild of America Award, and six Critics' Choice Television Awards in just five seasons. Between 2008 and 2010, Cranston consecutively won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Just a little bit of pressure there.
Collier also throws network support behind the series by saying they "all share a focus on making it a true television event. No half measures." Given the success of Breaking Bad, the faith may be well deserved.
Not just the fans are excited and anticipating the story lines to come, either. AMC’s president even states “we join the fans in eager anticipation for this series.”
Not surprising, really. Consistently well-written seems to be AMC standard given the critical success of shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead and the hopeful future for shows like Halt and Catch Fire. AMC’s risk-taking method earns them as much attention as the premium channels like HBO, so Collier’s pride and excitement definitely seems reasonable.
Tune in early next year and see how the show connects to audience and critics alike.
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Sources: Entertainment Weekly