AMC have announced their upcoming series lineup and the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul is scheduled to air in November 2014. Saul Goodman, the stressed and shady lawyer who aided and abetted Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in their meth-amphetamine empire building, was so popular with viewers of the AMC series that he got his own spin-off show.
Bob Odenkirk, who helped make Saul Goodman a household name, will reprise his role. Initially, the network, and Vince Gilligan, told everyone that the spin-off series would be more of a prequel than a sequel to Breaking Bad. Now it appears that the show will be a combination of the above. It has been mentioned that certain “favorite” characters will be appearing in the new show.
Two writers from Breaking Bad will be helming the show. Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchinson have been hired as co-executive producer and supervising producer respectively. Schnauz is very excited about his new job and got onto his Twitter account to post a picture of his new office.
It has also been reported that Paul Gould, who created Saul Goodman in the second season of Breaking Bad in the Better Call Saul episode, will serve as showrunner. With at least three distinguished alumni from the original series on board behind the scenes it looks like the new prequel/sequel will have an excellent chance of delivering the same type of quality entertainment.
Interestingly, both Hutchinson and Schnauz started working on Breaking Bad at the same time. The two writers worked on the Better Call Saul episode and they were retained for the remainder of the award winning show. Apart from the fact that the Odenkirk spin-off will not be “just a prequel” it has been confirmed that the show will be a comedy/drama.
In keeping with the very nature of Saul Goodman, and Bob Odenkirk’s brilliant portrayal which combined a perfect blend of comedy and pathos, the show’s aim of this type of comedic drama feels right. AMC announcing that the Better Call Saul premiere is scheduled to air November 2014 comes on top of news that could make existing Breaking Bad fans very happy.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has not ruled out extending the lifeline of Better Call Saul to cover some of the original series’ own events and timelines. As Gilligan explains it, the success of the AMC show catapulted the stars and their careers. The creator likened the new spin-off as a “Love Boat” for this generation.
The Love Boat was an ensemble type situational program that ran from 1977 to 1987. The show was not too dissimilar to Fantasy Island – which also started in 1977 – in that the two relied on “guest-stars” that were popular celebrities at that time to pump up the ratings.
Having the freedom to include cameo turns, or even full guest starring status, of fan favorites like Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Anna Gunn or even Bryan Cranston could not only extend the plot and life of the new show, but, bump ratings if Better Call Saul hits a slump with audiences.
Gilligan has also admitted that it may be quite difficult to get some the stars of Breaking Bad on the new show. The creator explained that, as with any popular, award winning show, the actors gain so much recognition for their efforts that they become busier after the show ends. This is very good for the actors themselves, but, frustrating for Gilligan has his new production team.
AMC has scheduled Better Call Saul to air November 2014, but, they have yet to give an definite date. The network has announced that the show will be on Sundays. Until a proper starting date is given perhaps potential fans of the new show can binge watch all of Breaking Bad in preparation. Failing that, there is always the second half of AMC’s The Walking Dead season four which starts on February 9.
By Michael Smith