Spin-off! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul? AMC clearly hopes not. The network just greenlit a Breaking Bad spin-off focusing on comic-relief lawyer Saul Goodman. Hopes are high for the show — currently untitled, although everyone on Twitter has made an executive decision to call it Better Call Saul. Executive producer Vince Gilligan and star Bob Odenkirk are trustworthy, eccentric creative types who will guarantee this isn’t just Breaking Bad‘s version of Joey. The worst-case scenario is that it turns out like Gilligan’s last spin-off, The Lone Gunmen, a gonzo-goofball misadventure that is also the kind of show that — in our postmodern post-television TV era — could probably earn a devoted fanbase and run for five seasons on a cable network.
But for AMC, greenlighting a Breaking Bad spin-off probably just makes good financial sense. This final season of Breaking Bad has gotten series-high ratings and has dominated late-summer social media chat. The network — which is losing Bad in three weeks and Mad Men next year — wants that fanbase to stick around. It’s nothing new for a network that already pioneered the after-show spin-off concept with The Talking Dead, the Walking Dead talk show shot in Chris Hardwick’s basement, which gets more ratings than at least one major broadcast network. If Better Call Saul works — And it will, won’t it? Oh do please say it will, Mary Poppins! I do believe in fairies! — maybe the network should start thinking about some other spin-off possibilities. Forthwith, some suggestions:
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