Fans of Better Call Saul can breathe a sigh of relief, as the show has finally been officially renewed for a fourth season. The Breaking Bad prequel had been in a curious state of limbo the past few weeks, as AMC conspicuously did not announce concrete plans for the series' future, even as season 3 ended on a shocking moment.
The story of scrappy, good-hearted lawyer Jimmy McGill's transformation into Saul Goodman, the odious slimeball he becomes by the time of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul was able to overcome early concerns it might tarnish its parent show's sterling legacy as a needless prequel. Indeed, the show has more than lived up to Breaking Bad's legacy, and series stars Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, and Michael McKean have become Emmy nomination favorites. The show has been a consistent critical darling, and the ratings are solid if unremarkable, so it was a bit of a mystery why there was no official word on a renewal.
To the relief of many, AMC made the renewal official today, announcing a 10 episode fourth season for 2018. Here is the official statement regarding the news, from Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios:
“Supporting artists we respect and admire; delivering truly outstanding character development and nuanced dramatic twists and turns; continuing a legacy of bold creative choices; loving writing that is the best in the business: Truly, ‘S’all good, man.' Congratulations to Vince, Peter, Bob and everyone involved with ‘Better Call Saul.’ Bring on season four!”
It would have been nearly impossible to imagine the show not getting at least one more year, as season three saw the series ramping up its connections to the world of Breaking Bad, including bringing in Giancarlo Esposito's iconic drug kingpin/chicken restaurateur Gus Fring. It also saw Jimmy making his first concrete steps toward becoming Saul, as his partnership with his girlfriend Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) began to fray, and his contentious relationship with his self-important, mentally-ill brother Chuck seemed to reach a dramatic point of no return.
It's not hard to imagine the events that immediately precede Breaking Bad are significantly closer than some may have thought, as Better Call Saul seems to be racing towards its final act and the moral destruction of its lead character. Through shows like Mad Men and Halt and Catch Fire, AMC has a well-earned reputation for prioritizing creative excellence over middling ratings, and it's good to see the network reinforce that belief system by sticking with Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's excellent, tragic prequel to their signature series.
Better Call Saul returns with season 4 in 2018.