So, you just wrapped one of the most critically acclaimed TV dramas of all time in which (spoiler alert!) the star went out in a blaze of machine gun glory and your other main character limped off into the darkness.
Great job, now how do you get them back on TV? If you’re “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan that’s just one of the biggest challenges facing “Bad” spin-off “Better Call Saul.”
But after coming down from the “Bad” finale high, Gilligan is finally tucking into “Saul,” which he told the Hollywood Reporter has already evolved from a half-hour sitcom to a one-hour drama.
“We’re both one-hour drama guys,” Gilligan said of himself and show runner Peter Gould, who abandoned the comedy format when they realized they weren’t comfortable with the jokes-per-page ratio a sitcom requires and that they enjoyed the visual elements of the “Bad” universe.
“So we figured, ‘Why not shoot ‘Saul’ in the same way?’ Let’s shoot it in Albuquerque, let’s get as much of the crew back together as possible, and let’s do it the way we did it before so that it will be of a piece with that pre-existing fictional universe that we had so much fun creating.”
A bit gun-shy about sequels following his work on the failed “X-Files” spin-off “The Lone Gunmen,” Gilligan is proceeding cautiously with “Saul,” working through the plot and tone with Gould to make sure they get the mix of drama and comedy just right. The new series will be set in an office and have a lighter tone than “Bad,” flipping the drama/comedy ratio to 75 percent funny and 25 percent serious.
“We’ve had to find the ongoing itch that Saul needs to scratch, so to speak, or else we wouldn’t have much of a show,” Gilligan said of figuring out the dramatic tension in the main character portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, who never came off as damaged and needy as Walter White.
The best news for “Bad” fans, however, is that AMC has agreed to pick up the show and that, wait for it, both Bryan Cranston (White) and Aaron Paul (Pinkman) have expressed interest in making a cameo on the show. “Personally, I’d have a hard time resisting putting all these guys in for a cameo or two every now and then,” he said.
Tentative plans call for “Saul” to launch between August and October of 2014.