Saul is back, and it seems people are very much interested in his pre-Walter White adventures.
Better Call Saul, a prequel to Breaking Bad, kicked off on AMC in the US on Sunday night and it went down a storm, breaking cable TV records with 4.4 million viewers in the much wanted 18-49 demographic. With 6.9 million viewers overall, it was a strong start for the new series, over 4 times what Breaking Bad earned way back in 2008.
But that's hardly surprising given the popularity of Breaking Bad (and the fact that fans have been waiting a long time for more tales from this world) as well as plenty of advertising and the prime Sunday evening slot. But a record is a record, and AMC should be happy with the performance.
More telling though is the drop off between episodes one and two, and it wasn't insignificant. The total viewership plummted by 49 percent to just around 3.5 million viewers. Holding an event over two consecutive nights mightn't have been the best idea, especially a Monday night where viewership is generally that bit lower.
Early ratings aren't the best indicator of a show's popularity, and with catchup services and the show's rapid transition to Netflix, actual viewer numbers for each episode are likely to be much higher. And the goodwill from Breaking Bad means AMC is likely to give Saul a good chance to gain an audience rather than letting it fizzle and die. To my mind, it's already got great potential thanks to Bob Odenkirk's leading performance and a more comedic, even cartoonish tone than the source series. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Better Call Saul airs on Mondays on AMC in the US and arrives in Netflix in Ireland and the UK every Tuesday morning. The first season consists of 10 episodes.