Ever since Breaking Bad concluded its run of TV greatness, fans have been waiting impatiently for the show's Saul Goodman-centric spin-off, Better Call Saul. And now, they'll have to wait even longer: AMC has delayed the premiere from November to early 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The good news? The network, in an unlikely move, has already renewed the series for a second season, bumping up the total of planned episodes to 23.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan had already signed on to direct the pilot episode before handing over the show to Breaking Bad writer-director Peter Gould (who created the Saul Goodman character), but the pair will now serve as co-showrunners. Joining them on the writing staff will be Bad veterans Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchison, along with Bradley Paul and Gordon Smith.
Better Call Saul will focus on the life and crimes of devious criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) prior to his timeline on Breaking Bad. Jonathan Banks will reprise his role as Goodman's steely private investigator Mike Ehrmantraut, and other previously announced cast members include veteran comic actor Michael McKean (as an attorney named Dr. Thurber), Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian and Michael Mando.
Meanwhile, AMC president Charles Collier tried to smooth over the news about the delay in a statement, telling fans that shooting for the 10-episode first season is currently underway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (He even dropped in a Walter White reference.) "We are enjoying the process on Saul and all share a focus on making it a true television event," he said. "No half measures."
Back in January, Gilligan talked about the direction of the show in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, touching on the narrative difficulty of spinning off the Breaking Bad universe into a new direction.
"It will be Saul Goodman’s world, it won’t be Walter White’s, and it will have a different feel, even though there will be some overlap on the Venn Diagram that exists between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul," he said. "But it will have to succeed on its own terms as its own show. If it doesn’t, it won’t be satisfying, and satisfaction is the key word. We want to satisfy."
Gilligan also hopes to secure some kind of involvement – if only cameo appearances – from Bryan Cranston (who played Walter White) and Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman). "Both Bryan and I want to be a part of that, if they'll have us," Paul told Details in January.