Not many shows are renewed before they even premiere. But then again, not many shows are a Breaking Bad prequel.
Better Call Saul, set to debut in early 2015, is one of the most buzzed-about series in recent history, and fans have yet to see see a single scene from the AMC spinoff. (But now get to see the first photos from the series. Hey, we'll take what we can get, right?!)
At the 2014 Summer TCA Press Tour, creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan and executive producer Peter Gould dished on Saul's (Bob Odenkirk) highly anticipated return, why they decided take the "challenge" of tackling a spinoff of one of TV's greatest dramas and which familiar faces (ahem, Walt and Jesse, feel free to return to us at anytime!) fans will see pop up on the series...
First, here's the full series regular cast, as (finally!) confirmed by the network: As previously announced, Breaking Bad fan fave Jonathan Banks will reprise the role of "fixer" Mike Erhmantraut, while Michael McKean is set to play Chuck, who Gould revealed is "Bob's brother." Boom!
Other newbies include House of Lies' Rhea Seehorn as Kim, Big Love's Patrick Fabian as Hamlin and Orphan Black's Michael Mando as Nacho, who are all playing "lawyers and crooks," Gould vaguely teased.
Now, let's get down to the details, shall we?
A Leap of Faith...or Stupidity? Gilligan and Gould are the first to admit that it's been a "challenge" writing the show when the audience knows where Saul ultimately ends up. "It's a leap of faith and stupidity into the unknown," Gilligan said, adding that "We thought it was going to be kind of easy going forward, we didn't really know who this guy was at all when you think about it."
As for why they decided to take on the "challenge," which they stressed has also been "fun," Gould explained, "He intrigued us and we didn't feel like we were finished with the world in Breaking Bad."
So Who Is Saul Goodman?: Fans of Breaking Bad know that Saul Goodman is not the character's real name, with Gould previewing, "What problem does being Saul Goodman solve and that was the kickoff point."
Who Will We Be Seeing Again?: Though we're not totally sure if Saul actually knew Gus (Giancarlo Esposito), BB's most iconic villain, he was definitely the middle man between him and Walter. So it seems likely that Gus could eventually pop up on Better Call Saul? "There's always a chance," Gould said. "There's so much more to say about that character and we certainly love Giancarlo. There's always possibly."
But Gould stressed, "We're trying to make something that stands on its own." Revealing they are currently working on episode eight of the 10-episode first season, Gilligan said, "We're still feeling our way through this, we're figuring out, when and if, to perhaps see some of these characters."
What Year Will it Take Place in? Gilligan revealed what year Better Call Saul will take place in: 2002. "It is indeed a period piece."
But there is always a chance of seeing other time periods, as previously speculated. "You saw from Breaking Bad that we like non-linear storytelling," Gilligan hinted. "We like jumping around in time."
Better Call Saul will debut in early 2015 on AMC.