Since debuting earlier this spring, the final season of “Better Call Saul” has been a hit for AMC and its streaming arm AMC+. According to Nielsen’s Live+3 ratings, the shocking mid-season finale drew upward of 2.2 million viewers, cementing the show’s place as the third-biggest drama among key demographics. Indeed, the tale of a crooked lawyer’s dalliance with a Mexican cartel has been the single biggest acquisition driver for AMC+ to date.
Now, with the show on hiatus until July 11, it’s worth asking what will AMC and AMC+ do when it’s all out of Saul?
Ever since Saul Goodman hit our screens in 2009 as a supporting character in Season 2 of “Breaking Bad,” Bob Odenkirk’s charismatic criminal lawyer has been a fan favorite. That’s why it was such a no-brainer for AMC to launch a prequel series exploring Goodman’s earlier life, softening the blow of that show wrapping up.
Over five-and-a-half seasons, fans have seen how Slippin’ Jimmy morphed into a snappy-dressing attorney who knows a thing or two about bending the rules. But like all good things, “Better Call Saul” is coming to an end. And, at the time of writing, there is no word from AMC on how it plans to fill the Jimmy McGill-sized hole in its content schedule.
The end of “Better Call Saul” comes as AMC+ has had a strong showing for its parent firm. The service is the largest driver in the company’s collective 9.5 million streaming subscribers, and all of AMC Networks’ streamers are on target to reach 25 million by 2025. But to get there, it’s almost certainly going to need more “must watch” shows — and there’s arguably more to explore with the characters around Saul.
Of course, AMC is not obliged to continue making shows or movies like “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”) set in the “Breaking Bad” universe. Executives at the firm could well be ready to take a gamble on something else entirely. But if the past is prologue, AMC will almost certainly want more from this particular world. After all, there are half-a-dozen “Walking Dead” shows — and that’s not even counting movies and webisodes.
Still, AMC is not the main force behind such content — it’s the creators themselves. And to this point, there’s nothing definitive (yet) from “Better Call Saul” honchos Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould about another spin-off.
However, a coda to this is a suggestion from actor Rhea Seehorn that we might yet see more from Jimmy/Saul’s wife Kim Wexler. Speaking with Deadline, Seehorn noted that Gilligan and Gould think there are more stories to tell, but said, “They do want to step away from this franchise” for a while.
So the question remains, who will AMC and AMC+ call upon when it doesn’t haven’t “Breaking Bad” alumni to drive subscriber numbers? Much like the closing episodes of “Better Call Saul,” we’ll just have to wait and see.
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