Originally slated for a November 2014 premiere, the Breaking Bad spinoff series Better Call Saul has now been pushed back to early 2015. But the news, which could have been seen as a cause for concern, was also accompanied by a much better announcement: AMC is already ordering more episodes of Better Call Saul.
THR reports that AMC has already renewed Better Call Saul for a second season, which means that the series will now run for at least twenty-three episodes. AMC announced that it would premiere the second, thirteen-episode season of the series in early 2016 as filming is still completed for the first ten-episode season in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The series, which has both Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould aboard as showrunners, also sees Gilligan taking the directing chair in the series opener.
“Production on Better Call Saul is underway, and we could not be more proud of nor more excited about the work to date. We join the fans in eager anticipation for this series, and today we happily confirm that our initial Saul order is for two seasons and a total of 23 episodes,” AMC president Charlie Collier said. “When introducing any series, especially one with the DNA of Breaking Bad, there are countless factors to consider in making sure the show gets the launch it deserves. We have a strong history with Vince, Peter, Bob, the studio and so many involved with this production; we are enjoying the process on Saul and all share a focus on making it a true television event. No half measures.”
Better Call Saul revolves around popular Breaking Bad character Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and takes place before the events of that series, focusing on the events leading up to Saul establishing his strip-mall law office. The show also features the return of actor Jonathan Banks, reprising his role of Mike Ehrmantraut, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see other popular characters from Breaking Bad make appearances as well.
AMC’s decision to push Better Call Saul to 2015 comes at a time when the network could have greatly benefitted from a 2014 series premiere sure to bring in lots of viewers ready to dive back into the Breaking Bad world. With no new original series premiering until 2015 following modest launches for Turn and Halt and Catch Fire, both of which have yet to earn a second season, AMC will now have to rely on new seasons of The Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels to get it through the year.
The news matched up neatly with Thursday night’s Television Critics Awards, where Breaking Bad took home top honors as the “Best Drama Series” winner. Considered the start of the television awards season, Breaking Bad’s critically acclaimed final season is expected to take home many more top awards before the awards season is through.
But the question remains as to whether the delay will hurt the series when it arrives or benefit it. With Breaking Bad still fresh in everyone’s minds, it could definitely be a concern that the further we get from the show’s finale, the more chance there is for the collective TV audience to latch onto new shows. Of course, when Gilligan and the Breaking Bad world are involved, it shouldn’t be hard to get viewers excited once again.