Well this was certainly unexpected! AMC has already renewed Better Call Saul—the network's Breaking Bad prequel that has yet to debut—for a 13-episode second season, bringing the show's total order to 23 episodes.
However, the network has also decided to push back the series' start date; originally scheduled to launch in November, Better Call Saul will now premiere in early 2015, where it will air alongside the second half of The Walking Dead's fifth season. Saul's second season will air in early 2016.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is directing the pilot for the series, which centers on Bob Odenkirk's slimy lawyer Saul Goodman and is currently filming in New Mexico (that's the first shot from the set up above!). Gilligan will also share showrunning duties with Saul co-creator Peter Gould, who wrote the Breaking Brad episode in which the title character was introduced.
This news raises a lot of questions. For instance, are we to interpret it as a vote of confidence for the series, or a sign that AMC is attempting to keep up the charade that it's not struggling? The network's most recent drama debut, the '80s-set computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, doesn't seem to be catching anything but flies.
Or perhaps we should be worried about some sort of production issue? Did the delay have anything to do with script quality? Or is it simply a matter of someone at the network doing some math and deciding that Saul will get more juice out of aligning with the The Walking Dead's spring half-season, as opposed to joining the zombie drama for only a few episodes in the fall?
Finally, it's important to note that the early renewal will undoubtedly raise viewer expectations, possibly beyond the realm of reality.
Of course, it could also mean none of these things. It could simply be a ploy to remind people of the staying power of Breaking Bad just in time for the Emmys. I don't know. I'm just the conspiracy theorist.
What say you about Better Call Saul's renewal?
AIRED ON 9/29/2013
Season 5 : Episode 16