As AMC‘s Breaking Bad is heading into its final eight-episode run this summer, the network and series producer Sony TV are exploring keeping the franchise alive with a spinoff series centered on one of Breaking Bad‘s most recognizable supporting characters, Bob Odenkirk‘s unflappable criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. There are no deals in place yet as the project is in its nascent stages, but I hear it is being conceived by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and series writer-producer Peter Gould, who created the Saul character together for a Season 2 episode written by Gould. In the episode, titled “Better Call Saul“, Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) hire the flamboyant Goodman after Badger (Matt L. Jones) is caught by the DEA. Goodman, who has been a regular presence on the show since, is a sleazy but highly competent criminal lawyer with a penchant for over-the-top TV commercials in which he uses his signature tagline “Better Call Saul!” Saul has served as Breaking Bad‘s comic relief, which is not surprising given Odenkirk’s strong comedy background. As a result, I hear the potential spinoff is eyed as a comedy, which could be one-hour, but a half-hour format also is being explored.
The idea for the potential spinoff had been gestating for awhile, with Gilligan mentioning it hypothetically in the past. “I would love to see a Saul Goodman spinoff,” he said in a July 2012 interview. “I like the idea of a lawyer show in which the main lawyer will do anything it takes to stay out of a court of law. He’ll settle on the courthouse steps, whatever it takes to stay out of the courtroom. That would be fun — I would like that.”