6.9 million people thought they’d Better Call Saul, breaking cable TV records

better call saul breaks cable record steady premiere episode 2
Better Call Saul, the much-anticipated spin-off to the immensely popular AMC series Breaking Bad, kicked off with a bang this Sunday, attracting 6.9 million viewers to become the highest-rated TV show to debut on cable ever, according to the Daily Mail.

To make things even sweeter, Nielsen numbers say the show grabbed the attention of 4.4 million viewers in the sweet spot demographic of 18-49 year-olds. Debuting after the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead, which itself raked in 15.6 million viewers, certainly helped – smart move, AMC. Deadline reports that the show’s second act of a two-night premiere definitely slumped off a bit, but still had impressive numbers considering it didn’t have the royal lead-in from a smash hit series for round two. Monday night’s airing brought in 3.4 million total viewers, and 2.1 million in the coveted 18-49 demo.

Related: Better Call Saul recap: ‘uno’ momento, por favor

For those unfamiliar, the show follows the story of morally-bankrupt, swindling lawyer Saul Goodman (who we now know is actually – spoiler alert – James McGill) six years before his life is turned upside down thanks to a run-in with the notorious Walter White. Each week, it’s clear we’ll get to follow the series of events that led a seemingly once-honest lawyer to become an infomercial-toting, shady greaseball who teeters the lines of legality, but knows exactly when to back down and cover his tracks.

Goodman – er, McGill – is played by comedian Bob Odenkirk, who perfectly captures the essence of desperation (with a hint of depression and low self-esteem) that makes everyone who comes in contact with him clearly uncomfortable, or at least suspicious of his motives.

Breaking Bad managed to garner a large portion of its massive following after it originally aired, via Blu-ray and streaming services like Netflix. That show actually only managed to snag a fifth of Saul’s numbers for its debut back in 2008. Judging from the first episode of the new show, which already saw the return of known Breaking Bad characters like (spoiler alert) Mike (Johnathan Banks) and Tuco (Raymond Cruz), it’s clear that the writers are working at the top of their game to make the shows tie-in well together, yet also allow those who have never seen Breaking Bad to still follow along with the show as an independent story. Head writer for Breaking Bad Vince Gilligan, by the way, holds the same title for Better Call Saul.

Aside from the character crossovers, keep an eye out for some interesting similarities that show just how alike Goodman and White really were. In one scene, depicted above, we see Goodman looking despondent, standing in his underwear. Remind you of that iconic image of Walter White at the end of his rope in season 1? Then there are the many interactions where it’s clear that Goodman – like White – just didn’t get the respect he deserved, or at least wanted, from others. (Remember how Walter’s boss at the car wash treated him? Not to mention his ex research partner.) And finally, it appears Goodman’s start in the world of dirty lawyering is eerily mirrored to White’s initiation into the drug biz, as well. But we won’t spoil it for you.

Sure, we already know how the story ends, but we hope the journey to the ill-fated destination in store is just as thrilling as the original story. It’ll be interesting to see if the show can keep its viewer base steady through the full run.

You can check out new episodes of Better Call Saul every Monday on AMC at 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central.


Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

The best sleeping bags to help you conquer the cold, no matter what season it is

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.
Movies & TV

From 'GLOW' to 'Haunting of Hill House,' these are the best Netflix Originals

Netflix's stable of content has grown quickly, and the streaming service now boasts dozens of shows produced in-house. Looking for the cream of the crop? These are our picks for the best Netflix Original series.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ wins one of the worst box-office weekends of 2018

Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet stayed on top of the weekend box office for the third week, winning what was one of the worst weekends for ticket sales in the US so far this year.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.