Better wait patiently for ‘Better Call Saul’

LOS ANGELES — There’s no question, “Breaking Bad” is one of the biggest things to happen to TV in decades. The AMC series was so popular, you would think that the people behind the spinoff series, “Better Call Saul,” would be working to quickly get the new program on the air.

But that’s not what’s happening. Series creator Vince Gilligan is a little more laid back than that.

At the annual summer meeting of TV critics tour in Los Angeles last week, Gilligan took full responsibility for the series launch being delayed to an early 2015 start.

“I am slow as mud as a TV writer. I always have been. It was my big fear when I got the job on ‘The X Files.’ I had been writing movie scripts, and I didn’t know if I could write at a TV pace. I still feel I’m very slow for television. We had a pace, thanks to AMC and Sony, on ‘Breaking Bad’ that was deliciously stately for television, and it was nothing that they wanted,” Gilligan says. “I think I can speak for them, it’s nothing any studio or network would want, but we have a way of doing things that is slower than most TV shows.”

It took an average of three weeks to put together an episode of “Breaking Bad.” That was the reason the final 16 episodes of “Breaking Bad” were aired in two eight-part seasons.

It was such a long process, and that’s why Gilligan’s not surprised it’s taking a long time to make “Better Call Saul.”

“We want to think everything through, and we feel that that pays dividends because, with ‘Breaking Bad,’ people say, ‘That seemed to knit together pretty well.’ Thanks to AMC and Sony, we had time to think everything through. So here we are doing it again, and I think we could have made November, but the bigger point is could we have made our 13 coming in at the same time with Season 2,” Gilligan says. “And AMC was very gracious to us and did not push us to say, ‘You’ve got to figure out a new way to do this job.’ Because, A, they’re good folks who were understanding of our process and, B, I think they also know we only know the one way to do it.”

If “Better Call Saul” is half as good as “Breaking Bad,” it will be worth the wait.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee

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