AMC‘s first two original scripted franchises, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, once again will be cornerstones of the network’s 2014 schedule — Mad Men with the first half of its final season, Breaking Bad with its spinoff Better Call Saul. At the beginning of its TCA presentation today, AMC announced its 2014 scheduling plans, which include an April 13 bow for Mad Men and a November launch for Better Call Saul, starring Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman — before meeting client Walter White. Additionally, Revolutionary War spy drama Turn will have a 90-minute premiere on April 6, and 1980s personal computer age series Halt will unspool in June. Western Hell On Wheels is expected to come back in the summer, and flagship The Walking Dead is once again looking at an October return. Given that Walking Dead had been renewed for a fifth season, a pickup of its companion talk show Talking Dead was considered a formality, and AMC today officially announced the renewal of the talker, which is coming off series highs. On the unscripted side, Game of Arms will premiere Feb. 25, followed by the May returns of Small Town Security and Freakshow. “We are extremely excited about the 2014 lineup,” AMC president Charlie Collier said while still acknowledging the network’s daunting task to rebuild a schedule without two of its signature series. “How can we replace Breaking Bad and Mad Men,” he said. We can’t, any more than CBS could replace All in the Family and M*A*S*H* or HBO could replace The Sopranos.”
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