The show is halfway through its second season and continues to score big ratings. It also racked up seven Emmy nominations last year, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for Bob Odenkirk, and Supporting Actor in a Drama for Jonathan Banks.
Set six years before the saga of Walter White, Better Call Saul chronicles the transformation of aspiring lawyer Jimmy McGill (Odenkirk) into the slimy, conniving criminal attorney, Saul Goodman. The series was created by Breaking Bad mastermind Vince Gilligan and longtime series writer and producer, Peter Gould.
While both Odenkirk and Banks have reprised their roles from Breaking Bad (Banks as fixer Mike Ehrmantraut), the Better Call Saul primary cast boasts mostly newcomers including Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando and Michael McKean. Still, the series has brought back a handful of Breaking Bad characters, including drug dealer Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) and his uncle, the high-ranking cartel member, Hector “Tio” Salamanca (Mark Margolis). Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman, has also expressed interest in reprising his role on Better Call Saul.
In an interview with Rolling Stone last March, Odenkirk spoke about the pressure of following up a hit show and critical darling like Breaking Bad, especially considering the poor track records of most spinoffs.
“We all approached it with great care in the sense of just how much of a risk it was,” he said. “The way to counter-balance those concerns is ‘are we pursuing an idea because there’s an original inspiration to it?’ And I left that question to Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and their answer was a pretty assured, ‘yes.’ And keep in mind, they started thinking about this years ago. It didn’t come out of finishing Breaking Bad and being lost for another project.”