AMC Cooks Up “Breaking Bad”, “Walking Dead” Spinoffs

Posted on September 19th, 2013 by in Announcements, Film and TV Production

Bob Odenkirk to play lead in "Breaking Bad" spinoff (Image by Gage Skidmore)

Bob Odenkirk to play lead in “Breaking Bad” spinoff (Image by Gage Skidmore)


In the final countdown toward what’s sure to be one of the most anticipated series finales in TV history, AMC has announced they’re moving forward with a Breaking Bad spinoff centered on Walt’s humble attorney at law, Saul Goodman. The timing couldn’t be more calculated, as the show recently hit a record 6.4 million viewers during its most recent episode, solidifying a following who will certainly carry over to the spinoff to sate their lingering taste for badness.

The new show, entitled Better Call Saul, will be spearheaded by B.B. creator Peter Gould, who spawned the character of Saul Goodman in the series’ second season.

A few urgent questions come to mind. For instance, with Gould in charge, will the rotten apple not fall far from the tree? Perhaps, though the creator will be tasked with refilling empty spots in the writers room, possibly causing a deviation from the taut, tense style of its predecessor. More urgently, does a spinoff of Saul Goodman mean he survives by the end of Breaking Bad? Sorry, but no spoiler alert here. Better Call Saul will be a prequel to B.B.

Doubly stupefying, AMC announced it will also spinoff their other smash hit The Walking Dead with a “companion series”. This drama about the survivors of a zombie apocalypse is itself a kind of spin off, somewhat loosely based on a popular graphic novel from which it borrows much of its horde-like fan base. Dead is a living monster of a show, garnering around 11.4 million viewers during its third season. Branching off from it with a supplementary series was “literally a no-brainer”, as AMC’s President and GM Charlie Collier put it.

AMC’s launching of two spinoffs is in part a response to their recent ratings struggles, with the once popular “The Killing” cancelled after its third season, and the new Mark Strong-led Low Winter Sun paling in the shadow of Breaking Bad. “If Low Winter Sun, The Killing or Hell on Wheels were getting 10 million viewers, I don’t think they’d be looking at making these series,” says Horizon senior VP research Brad Adgate.

For more on AMC’s Better Call Saul deal, check out the full article on hollywoodreporter.com.


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