Skip to main content

Better Call Saul emerges from Breaking Bad’s shadow, becomes cable’s top new show

better call saul  s01e07 03
Image used with permission by copyright holder
If you tuned in to Better Call Saul on AMC to find out how the cheesy, shady lawyer extraordinaire from Breaking Bad became reliable ol’ Saul Goodman, you weren’t alone. In fact, you were joined by millions of others who ate up the inaugural season’s 10-episode run.

The first season, which wrapped up last Sunday, April 5, raked in an average of 5.9 million viewers, reports Variety. But perhaps more important is that the majority (3.7 million) fell into that all-important 18-49 demographic, according to the Nielsen figures that Variety cited; 3.6 million were aged 25-54. Despite a small decline in the second week, the ratings remained pretty high through the remaining eight episodes and into the finale, which attracted 5.1 million viewers. This made Better Call Saul the number-one new cable TV show in live-plus-three figures (live viewing plus estimates of three days worth of DVR playback).

Related: Just like meth, your first taste of Better Call Saul is free

As a spinoff to the hugely popular AMC series Breaking Bad, which wrapped up in 2013 (has it really been that long?) Better Call Saul could have gone either way: tainting the stellar reputation of the beloved show from which it spawned, or leaving viewers wanting more. It seems the show has managed to accomplish the latter.

While standing completely on its own — someone who never saw Breaking Bad could easily watch without feeling that they’re missing out — it also offers a fantastic build-up of a character who Breaking Bad fans know eventually becomes the greasy Saul Goodman, with great attention to the back-story explaining why. Clearly, the team behind the show knew all that was riding on it, and brought out the big guns.

It didn’t hurt that AMC promoted the heck out of the show prior to its official launch on February 8 and 9 in a back-to-back two-nighter. The fact that the first episode aired opposite The Walking Dead, also helped get viewers hooked.

Currently, Better Call Saul is the third AMC series to make it to the top-five list of cable TV shows, alongside The Walking Dead, and Talking Dead (Chris Hardwick’s talk show about the zombie program that follows each episode.)

Bob Odenkirk has proven himself a viable leading man, and writer Vince Gilligan and team have shown their ability to crank out another hit in the drug-dealing, law-skirting genre. Better Call Saul is a great show that, like Breaking Bad, will demonstrate a man’s slow slip from good guy to bad apple.

Editors' Recommendations

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
Better Call Saul brings back Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in Better Call Saul.

Throughout the first five seasons of Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel has featured the return of several cast members from the original series. Now the original Breaking Bad stars are joining the party for Better Call Saul's sixth and final season. Via Variety, Better Call Saul co-creator and showrunner, Peter Gould, confirmed that Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will reprise their respective roles as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.

The announcement came during the Better Call Saul panel at PaleyFest LA. However, Gould still withheld a few details from the audience.

Read more
Jimmy feels the heat in Better Call Saul season 6 trailer
Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul.

The world of Breaking Bad may be coming to an end now that Better Call Saul is heading into its final season. Astute viewers are well aware that Better Call Saul is both a prequel and a sequel to the original series. Each season has opened with a glimpse of Saul's depressing life as "Gene" after he lost everything in Breaking Bad. In the past five seasons, viewers have witnessed how the loveable Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman became Albuquerque's favorite "criminal lawyer." What no one expected was that Jimmy would drag his lover, Kim Wexler, down to his level. Even Jimmy was shocked by that!

However, Kim's darker turn is clearly haunting her in the first trailer for Better Call Saul season 6. And she may be correct in assuming that she is being followed by someone with nefarious intentions. Jimmy also discovers that he can't escape the shadow of the Salamanca cartel. After the events of last season, Jimmy is viewed as the Salamanca's go-to lawyer, and that's attention that he could do without.

Read more
The 10 best movies on Tubi right now (June 2024)
Mark Wahlberg pulling Will Ferrell's tie in a scene from The Other Guys

Tubi is a free ad-supported streaming service (FAST) offering tons of great movies. You don't need to sign up for an account or provide a credit card number or even use a trial period. Just visit the site, search for a movie, and start watching. It's that easy. You can sign up (for free) if you want to access enhanced features, like watchlists, recommendations, and parental controls. But there's no obligation to do so. The only catch is that you'll have to sit through the occasional ad while you watch.

You also have to keep in mind that the selection of movies available on Tubi is constantly changing. When you see one you want to watch, it might not be available the following month. But you'll also find new titles from one month to the next. That's why we keep this list updated for you, highlighting the best movies you can watch on the streaming service. From classics like I, Robot that are more topical today than ever to relatively new titles like Ford v Ferrari, these are the 10 best movies on Tubi right now.

Read more