The Hollywood Reporter did a fantastic piece on Vince Gilligan, in which he shed some light on the Breaking Bad spin-off. "Better Call Saul initially was conceived as a half-hour sitcom until Gilligan and Gould, who created the character during season two, realized they weren't comfortable with a certain number of jokes-per-page format. 'We're both one-hour drama guys,' he says, but more to the point, they realized that so much of what they enjoyed about Breaking Bad was the show's visual elements. "So we figured, "Why not shoot Saul in the same way?" Let's shoot it in Albuquerque, let's get as much of the crew back together as possible, and let's do it the way we did it before so that it will be of a piece with that pre-existing fictional universe that we had so much fun creating.'
"While they're still working through plot, they anticipate the series being set in an office with a much lighter tone than that of its predecessor. If Bad was 75 percent dramatic and 25 percent comedic, Saul will be the opposite. The challenge has been finding the dramatic tension in their lead character. Unlike Walter White, who was damaged and needy, Saul has been portrayed as happy-go-lucky until now. Says Gilligan, 'We've had to find the ongoing itch that Saul needs to scratch, so to speak, or else we wouldn't have much of a show.' The pair made a formal pitch this summer to AMC, which haggled with Sony over money for longer than expected before ultimately deciding to move forward at the eleventh hour. Others, led by Netflix, WGN America and FX, were ready to pounce had the flagship's network passed.
"Both Cranston and Aaron Paul, in addition to some of Bad's other actors, have expressed interest in making appearances, which Gilligan intends to make happen."
YouTube will livestream Breaking Bad's farewell event in Albuquerque, a funeral for main character Walter White that was inspired by an obituary for White placed in the Albuquerque Journal. Attendees gain entrance with a donation to benefit Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless; there will be a "donate" button on the livestream page for online viewers. Funeral is 4:30 MDT on Saturday.
On the flip side of all of this, AMC "has given the greenlight to King of Arms, a reality show that will “take a look inside the raw and highly-competitive world of American arm wrestling”
"The 10 episode series from Deadliest Catch producers Matt Renner and Ethan Prochnik as well as Dan Ilani will follow the members of five arm-wrestling clubs as they hit the road and wager their rent money, reputations and even their relationships in pursuit of victory."
If arm wrestling doesn't get you excited, AMC has also picked up Small Town Security for another cycle, and Freakshow.
With Breaking Bad behind us and Mad Men coming to a close, Andy Greenwald examines where AMC might go next.
Kerry Washington will become the 9th African-American female to host Saturday Night Live. How many of the previous 8, can you name?
Here's a piece from Vulture arguing that Nick and Jess on New Girl aren't working. I kind of agree. Something just feels slight off between them. Amanda Dobbins suggests that Nick "is the man-boy to Jess's goofball, and together they are alarmingly sexless, like two cartoon characters without genitals." That's strong.
South Park missed its first delivery deadline ever last night due to a power outage. Not sure why that matters, but a lot of outlets seemed to report it so there ya go.
Same thing goes for Ronan Farrow getting his own show on MSNBC. Terrific.
Last night's It's Always Sunny was fantastic and far and away the best episode of the season. The icing on the cake was the cameo by Jerry Gergich!
Survivor is also really bringing it this season. Here's a recap of last night's episode if you want to get caught up quickly.
Good news for fans of The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife. ABC ordered three additional episodes of each.
HGTV has green lit three new series for production: Flip It to Win It, Rent or Buy and Fixer Upper. The network also approved a second 13-episode arc of the hugely popular Flip or Flop, a series that follows novice flippers Tarek and Christina El Moussa as they try their hand at turning houses for a profit.
“We’ve learned that viewers want to see how real homeowners or experts handle riskier real estate investments,” said Steven Lerner, senior vice president, programming and production, HGTV and DIY Network. “For example, Flip or Flop attracted more than 9 million P25-54 and showed double-digit ratings growth over the Tuesday 11p time slot last year.”
Several of the networks’ additional offerings showcase the risks and tradeoffs of real estate. The stakes are high in Flip It to Win It (Johlt Productions) as expert flippers outbid each other for abandoned houses and battle to renovate and resell each one for top dollar. Rent or Buy (Breakfast Anytime Inc.) follows first-time homeowners as they weigh pros and cons, and decide whether to rent or buy. Fixer Upper (High Noon Entertainment) pairs struggling buyers with real estate and remodeling experts to buy and restore dilapidated homes located in neighborhoods too perfect to resist.