PASADENA, Calif. – “Better Call Saul” while you still can. The AMC series has been renewed for a sixth and final season.
Executive producer and showrunner Peter Gould made the announcement last week at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. The final season will consist of 13 episodes, to be released next year — bringing its episode total to 63, roughly on par with its predecessor, “Breaking Bad.”
“Better Call Saul” is set several years before the events of “Breaking Bad,” the Emmy-winning drama that introduced us to Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The prequel tracks the transformation of lawyer Jimmy McGill into the Saul Goodman viewers came to love in the original series.
“Greenlighting a prequel to one of the most iconic series in television history is one of the boldest swings that AMC has ever taken. But, thanks to the creative genius of [co-creators] Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, it has also been one of the most rewarding,” Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks, said in a statement.
“I was so proud to be part of ‘Breaking Bad’ because we managed to stick the landing on those 62 episodes,” Gould told reporters. “We’re going to try like hell to stick the landing on 63 episodes — that’s exactly what we wanted. That’s what we hoped for.”
Gould was joined onstage by Gilligan, the creator of “Breaking Bad” and co-creator of “Better Call Saul,” as well as the cast, including Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn and Jonathan Banks.
The show’s writers will begin work on the final season next month. Fans can catch the fifth season beginning Feb. 23. It will include some more familiar faces from the “Breaking Bad” universe, including Dean Norris, who played Walt’s DEA agent brother-in-law Hank Schrader in the original series, and Steven Michael Quezada, who played Hank’s partner.
Asked about whether he started the spinoff with some idea of how the show might conclude — whether it would sync up with the beginning of “Breaking Bad” or veer in its own direction — Gould hedged a bit.
“How it ends, I would say, the truth is we didn’t have much of an idea of it either,” Gould said. “Four seasons in, it was very foggy. During the breaking of Season 5, I think the fog started to lift. We started to see where we think it ends. I have to say, none of it is what I would have expected when we started. When this season is over, I think you’ll have a better understanding of where this is all going.”
Nor would he say with certainty whether Cranston or Paul, both of whom appear in Gilligan’s recent Netflix title “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” would turn up in the final season.
“That would be awesome,” Gould said. “I would love to work with Aaron and Bryan again on this show.”