Since the announcement of its existence, all that most everyone’s wanted to know is when, exactly, AMC plans to premiere its Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. While the network has remained very close the chest in terms of the new show’s airing, as of today, calendars can now be marked as a time slot has been made official for the Bob Odenkirk starring series.
According to THR, Better Call Saul will premiere next year (2015) on Sunday, February 8 at 10pm before moving to its official timeslot on Monday, February 9 at 10pm. And in addition, the site’s also released a new trailer for the series, which we’ve embedded at the top of this article.
While it may not seem like a big deal that Better Call Saul will be airing in a seemingly normal timeslot of Mondays at 10pm, it will mark the first time the network will be airing any type of scripted programming in a weekday slot. Currently, the only scripted series AMC doesn’t air on Sundays is Hell on Wheels, and that’s now coming to an end. The fact Better Call Saul’s going to be leading the charge on Monday’s says a lot about how the home of The Walking Dead views its latest project.
Sunday night is television’s prestige night. So much so, in fact, every Emmy nominated drama of the last few years has been a Sunday series. AMC removing the Breaking Bad prequel off the famed night comes with a certain belief the network is trying to leverage any potential success into expanding its potential programming slots – or perhaps it doesn’t feel the show’s going to be the Emmy golden child its predecessor was. While it’s saying something the network chose to place the series on Monday and not an off night like Friday, it still matters that Saul isn’t going to continue airing on Sundays alongside The Walking Dead.
Part of AMC’s problem also has to do with Walking Dead’s companion series, Talking Dead. Currently, the Chris Hardwick hosted after-show does monster ratings on a budget that would barely cover the zombie drama’s catering bill. However, AMC learned after the series’ first year those ratings only occur when the after-show directly follows new episodes of The Walking Dead. So, realistically, it was impossible to slate Better Call Saul on Sunday and still milk everything there is to milk out of The Walking Dead’s audience.
Inherently, this all ties back into television’s overall problem with “prestige night.” When all the “great” shows air against each other on Sunday, it sends a message that all other programs airing on other nights don’t hold up to scrutiny. Game of Thrones, True Detective, Mad Men, The Good Wife, Homeland, The Walking Dead – all Sunday night shows and despite the fact there’s fantastic drama on other nights (such as Sons of Anarchy, Hannibal, Fargo and Suits), they sometimes get less notice.
Unless there’s a sudden and drastic shift in the way the entertainment industry views time-slot importance, don’t expect there to be major acclaim for Better Call Saul when it begins… even it prove to be a high-quality series in its own right.
Better Call Saul premieres Sunday, February 8th, 2015 at 10/9c on AMC.