The dust had barely settled from the series finale of Breaking Bad when it was announced that everyone’s favorite corrupt attorney from the show, Saul Goodman, would be getting his own spin-off series. If that wasn’t good enough news to the fans of Breaking Bad and Bob Odenkirk, it was announced yesterday that the spin-off, titled Better Call Saul, will already be getting a second season order from AMC, months before the first season is set to premiere.
The series, which will be set as a prequel of sorts to Breaking Bad, showing how Saul Goodman became the attorney to the crooks and scum of Albuquerque, NM, is currently in production, and from all accounts, the production staff is treading lightly when it comes to bringing this story to screen. Recently, during a Hollywood Reporter drama showrunner roundtable discussion, Breaking Bad creator and Better Call Saul executive producer Vince Gilligan talked about his fears of creating a spin-off of a show that fans love so well.
It’s scary. It opens you up to a lot of fears. Is this going to be Frasier — or After MASH? If it’s After MASH rather than Frasier, it won’t be for a lack of hard work, wishful thinking and a lot of smart people doing their best. But it’s a high-class problem.
It seems that it was this fear and hope to get it right that caused the premiere of Better Call Saul to be pushed back until early 2015. The outlook for the series, though, according to AMC president Charlie Collier, may be leaning more toward Frasier, especially given the eagerness the network had to renew it so soon. He said in a press release:
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. 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.
There is no doubt in my mind that Gilligan, Odenkirk, and the Breaking Bad writing team can create a successful spin-off show. The world of Breaking Bad was so rich and well thought out that I couldn’t imagine they’d half-ass it this time around. There’s just too much passion for these characters in the hearts of the writers to let it go sour.
Also, If you need any proof that Bob Odenkirk will shine and you don’t want to trek back through Breaking Bad just yet, you should check him out in the FX’s miniseries Fargo. There he plays Sheriff Bill Oswalt, and he’s just fantastic. His character is part comedy and part tragedy, more so in the sense that he’s a bit of a dimwit, and it’s just pure magic.
What do you think about this show? Will you tune in come 2015?