Ever since it was announced, there’s been some concern over the potential quality of AMC’s Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul. However, that concern didn’t prevent a nice chunk of people from tuning in for the show’s debut last night (read our review of the premiere).
In overall viewership, the Saul’s first episode pulled in 6.9 million viewers with a 3.4 in the 18-49 demoraphic. AMC is claiming that, based on the numbers for the 18-49 demo in particular, the Breaking Bad spinoff enjoyed the most watched premiere in basic cable history – when translated into the amount of viewers (4.4 million) between 18-49 who saw it last night.
We could sit here all day and breakdown why AMC is choosing to spin the numbers of Better Call Saul into something they’re perhaps not, what should be noted is that there’s nothing to be ashamed of here with this audience size. There are very few broadcast shows capable of delivering on a demo score higher than 3.0, and 7 million viewers overall for a cable series can also go a long way. Should those numbers keep up tonight, there’s a high possibility that we can expect Better Call Saul to be sticking around for a while.
That said, it’s possible that AMC’s heads will be worried about the decent chunk of Breaking Bad’s series finale audience that didn’t tune in last night for the beginning of Saul’s adventures. However, it should be noted that the ratings for Breaking Bad‘s final season weren’t consistent and jumped throughout the course of its run.
When Breaking Bad aired its final season premiere, it did so with 5.92 million viewers. Then, in the series’ penultimate episode, it managed 6.58 million viewers. The only reason the series jumped to over 10 million viewers in its finale was because all of the people that were watching the show on a time delay or via Netflix opted to be a part of the cultural event that was the conclusion of Walter White’s story.
As it stands, though, Sony Television has already made a lucrative deal with Netflix for Better Call Saul, and AMC has already renewed the show for a second season. Moreover, Better Call Saul will most likely track the same way Breaking Bad did. It will do decently in live airings, but will see monster performance when it starts hitting SVOD services like Netflix. And, of course, that doesn’t even touch on the international potential of the show.
Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10/9c on AMC.