“Breaking Bad” creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan has restated his seriousness about a spin-off series centered around sketchy lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), apparently even initiating talks with series producer Sony Television Studios, AMC and writer-producer Peter Gould. But could such a show, which would like take the form of a dark comedy and be lighter in tone and substance than “Breaking Bad,” be anything other than a letdown after the end of the great meth drama? In an interview in the new issue of Empire, Gilligan essentially admits that the theoretical show probably won’t live up to the original, but that that shouldn’t be a reason to not do it — “Worst case scenario, it’s like the spin-off to M*A*S*H, AfterMASH, that nobody remembers – and I don’t think it hurt M*A*S*H any that it existed.”
Are you worried that this potential Saul Goodman spin-off show could dilute the Breaking Bad brand?
“Well, you never assume lightning is going to strike twice. Having said that, I think a Saul Goodman show would be a great deal of fun, and a great challenge, and something I would look forward to doing. It’s definitely not set in stone yet, it’s definitely the early days of the process, and it may happen or it may not.
“We’ll move heaven and earth to make it every bit as high quality as Breaking Bad, but then there’s the intangible question of whether it’ll affect people, whether it’ll move people as much as the mothership show did, and there’s no real answer to that. In fact, the safest answer to that is: ‘Probably not to the same level.’
“Then you ask yourself, ‘Does that mean it’s not worth doing?’ I think it is indeed worth doing, and the way to approach it is by knowing that it’s not going to be the same thing. It’s not to be completely of a piece with the original show, but if it’s a challenge, and it’s interesting to us to do it, that’s reason enough. Worst case scenario, it’s like the spin-off to M*A*S*H, AfterMASH, that nobody remembers – and I don’t think it hurt M*A*S*H any that it existed. I don’t think we’re going to have that problem, though.”
Eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” remain, with the second half of the fifth season scheduled to premiere on August 11. The episode will be directed by star Bryan Cranston.
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