Three of AMC’s dramas aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, as Better Call Saul and Fear the Walking Dead both received season 5 renewals, while newcomer McMafia also got the official greenlight for season 2. The news comes nearly a week before the Breaking Bad prequel begins its anticipated fourth season, and almost two weeks before the Walking Dead spinoff is set to return for the second half of its fourth go-round. As for McMafia, the international series will get a chance to expand its criminal empire sometime next year.
Two of the three renewals were not much of a surprise. Better Call Saul is a critical darling for AMC, routinely making appearances at the Emmys (though a late start made it ineligible for the 2018 ceremony). Meanwhile, after undergoing a change behind the scenes, Fear the Walking Dead has been given a creative fresh start of sorts and the renewal means new showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss will have another 16 episodes to explore the ruined world of Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse.
As reported by THR, AMC’s news came ahead of the network’s TCA summer press tour presentation. Though the other two series were not present, the cast and crew of Better Call Saul was on hand to answer questions about the upcoming fourth season. Other shows hitting the stage during AMC’s allotted time were the quirky comedy Lodge 49 — which premieres the same day as Saul — as well as Eli Roth’s History of Horror, and the upcoming John le Carré adaptation, Little Drummer Girl, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Florence Pugh.
The new season of Better Call Saul certainly has to face some high expectations, as the series has been inching ever closer to the point where Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill finally makes his big turn into the Saul Goodman fans know and love from his days working with Walter White on Breaking Bad. Season 4 is also dealing with the aftermath of what happened to Jimmy’s older brother, Chuck (Michael McKean), in the final moments of the season 3 finale. Similarly, Fear the Walking Dead will find itself in the presumed aftermath of Madison Clark’s (Kim Dickens) demise, which took viewers and cast members alike by surprise as the series pivots to Lennie James’ Morgan as the show's ostensible new lead.
All in all, it looks like AMC is keeping its most reliable shows going, while trying out some new dramas, like this summer’s Dietland and the aforementioned Lodge 49. With any luck these new series will be looking at renewals of their own when the time comes.
Better Call Saul season 4 premieres Monday, August 6 and Fear the Walking Dead season 4 picks up on Sunday, August 12 on AMC.