TV Talk

Better Call Saul Renewed for Sixth, and Final, Season

Plus, The Walking Dead: World Beyond and Killing Eve premiere dates, Manhunter and Watchmen futures in question, and more.

by | January 16, 2020 | Comments

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
(Photo by Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

Thursday afternoon’s portion of the winter Television Critics Association press tour was largely devoted to channels that are part of the AMC Networks, including AMC and BBC America. This brought news of favorite returning series like Killing Eve and Better Call Saul and anticipated new ones like The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Other TV news comes courtesy of HBO’s Watchmen, Netflix’s Mindhunter, and Peacock, the new streaming service from NBCUniversal.


TOP STORY

BETTER SAY GOODBYE TO SAUL

Better Call Saul  co-creator Peter Gould told journalists during the show’s TCA panel that his and Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad prequel has been renewed for a 13-episode season 6, which will also be the show’s last.

But before we get to that, AMC still has to air its 10-episode season 5 of Saul, which has a two-night premiere on February 23 and 24 and stars Bob Odenkirk as the increasingly corrupt lawyer. Gould told journalists that he “would say this season is more kinetic” — to which co-star Jonathan Banks piped up to say “violent is the word you’re looking for.” And while Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will not be in the fifth season of Saul, Gould did confirm that Dean Norris and Steven Michael Quezada will be in episodes three and four this season, reprising their Breaking Bad characters of DEA agents Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez.

So will Cranston and Paul ever appear on the show? After all, Paul’s Jesse Pinkman did introduce Cranston’s Walter White to criminal attorney Saul Goodman.

Gould gave the traditional cagey answer that he would love to work with Cranston and Paul again.


TIME TO FEAST ON MORE THE WALKING DEAD

THE WALKING DEAD THE WORLD BEYOND
(Photo by AMC)

The brains at AMC have confirmed that the latest series in The Walking Dead franchise, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, will premiere April 12 after the season 10 finale of the original TWD. The new series stars Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Annet Mahendru, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston, Nico Tortorella, and Julia Ormond and includes the following logline:

Two sisters along with two friends leave a place of safety and comfort to brave dangers, known and unknown, living and undead on an important quest. Pursued by those who wish to protect them and those who wish to harm them, a tale of growing up and transformation unfurls across dangerous terrain, challenging everything they know about the world, themselves and each other. Some will become heroes.

Other series and special premieres include IFC variety show Sherman’s Showcase hour-long “Black History Month Spectacular,” which will air this summer, and a promise that the third season of BBC America and AMC’s Killing Eve will be back in April. The fourth season of IFC’s Brockmire will premiere March 18, and the second season of SundanceTV’s Liar starts April 8. AMC’s three-part cheating scandal miniseries Quiz, which stars Michael Sheen, Matthew Macfadyen, and Sian Clifford, premieres May 25.

Outside of TCA, CourtTV announced that it will air OJ25, a 37-week primetime series that chronologically follows all courtroom drama from the the O.J. Simpson murder case from start to verdict. The original true-crime series will begin airing on January 23, a day before the 25th anniversary of the trial’s start in 1995.


BAD NEWS FOR WATCHMEN FANS?

WATCHMEN SEASON 2 NO GO
(Photo by HBO)

On Wednesday at TCA, HBO programming head Casey Bloys stated that he’d be happy to do another season of cult hit Watchmen if creator Damon Lindelof was interested.

It appears that he is not.

Lindelof told USA Today that he’s done telling the story he wants to tell, but he’s “given my blessing” to HBO if someone else were to take on another chapter. Bloys, however, tweeted another report that argues that Lindelof has all the time in the world to come up with a season 2 idea.


ET TU, MINDHUNTER?

Holt McCallany as Bill Tench, Jonathan Groff as Holden Ford, Joe Tuttle as Gregg Smith, and Anna Torv as Dr. Wendy Carr in Mindhunter season 2 trailer screencap (Netflix)
(Photo by Netflix)

A third season of Netflix’s Mindhunter is also uncertain, as the cast has been released from its contracts and executive producer David Fincher seems preoccupied at the moment.

“David is focused on directing his first Netflix film Mank and on producing the second season of Love, Death and Robots,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “He may revisit Mindhunter again in the future, but in the meantime felt it wasn’t fair to the actors to hold them from seeking other work while he was exploring new work of his own.”

Fincher’s film Mank tells the story of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s work on 1941 Orson Welles film Citizen Kane.


PEACOCK SHAKES ITS TAIL FEATHER

PEACOCK EVENTS -- "Peacock Investor Day" at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, NY on Thursday, January 16, 2020 -- Pictured: Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/Peacock)
(Photo by AMC)

Outside of the TCA ballroom, details were released about NBCUniversal’s soon-to-launch streaming service, Peacock. See all the details, including news of a new Punky Brewster series, in “Everything We Know About Peacock.”


COURTNEY B. VANCE JOINS AMC’S 61ST STREET

Courtney B Vance 61st Street
(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for SAG-AFTRA Foundation)

American Crime Story’s Courtney B. Vance is going back to the courtroom. The Emmy winner will star in 61st Street, which is described as a “propulsive courtroom drama” about a black teenager who gets swept up in Chicago’s infamously corrupt criminal justice system. Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society are executive producing with a script from The Night Of’s Peter Moffat.

Other casting news announced Thursday include that Charlie Heaton, Malin Akerman, Betsy Brandt, and JJ Feild have joined the cast of AMC’s Soulmates, a drama set in the near future that explore the concept of true love. The six-part anthology story is created by Will Bridges and premieres this summer.

Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh will narrate the documentary She Walks With Apes about Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Biruté Galdikas. It will air April 22 on BBC America as part of the channel’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


AMC DEVELOPING SERIES WITH ILANA AND ELIOT GLAZER AND MORE

ILANA AND ELIOT GLAZER AMC SHOW
(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for Hilarity for Charity)

AMC Networks and AMC Studios also released a partial, but long, list of projects currently in development. They’re listed below.

AMC Networks Entertainment Group Development

More As This Story Develops
Producers are Katie Couric and Wendy Walker.
Logline: Inspired by the friendship between Katie Couric and Wendy Walker, two young women begin their careers in broadcast news in the ‘80s, charting the incredible moments in history that they were able to be a part of.

National Anthem
Written by Scott Z. Burns and executive produced by Mark Johnson. Music and lyrics are by Craig Finn and the music is produced by T-Bone Burnett.
Logline: A musical dramedy following the Nordstrom Family who, after falling down the ladder of American life, need to figure out what actually makes life worth living.

Sleeping Beauty
Written by Owen King, based on the novel by Owen and Stephen King. Executive producers are Michael Sugar and Ashley Zalta for Sugar23 and the Kings.
Logline: In a small Appalachian town, there’s a strange mystical occurrence that causes all the women to fall asleep, leaving the men to try and rescue them. But do the women want to be rescued?

Bunny
Megan Mostyn Brown is writing based on the novel by Mona Awad.
Logline: A lonely student is drawn into a mysterious clique of girls called The Bunnies and begins to partake in their strange off-campus ritual — conjuring boys from rabbits, where the good ones stay as romantic partners and the bad ones are mercilessly axed.

Pantheon
A one-hour animated drama series written by Craig Silverstein based on short stories by Ken Liu, award-winning sci-fi writer. Silverstein is an executive producer. Titmouse will serve as the animation production company and is also producing a 10-minute animated short.
Logline: In this animated drama set in a world where uploaded consciousness is not just science fiction, a young woman begins receiving messages from an unknown number that claims to be her deceased father. Trying to uncover the truth, she stumbles upon a larger conspiracy involving the singularity.

Nigeria 2099
Ahmadu Garba will serve as writer. Mo Abudu and Heidi Uys of Nigeria’s EbonyLife TV will executive produce.
Logline: Set in a futuristic world, NIGERIA 2099 tells the story of Sgt. Charles Opkara, a local police officer in a poor district of Lagos. Assigned to protect a visiting American businessman staking out his district, Sgt. Charles begins to unravel a global conspiracy over depleting resources.

Silverbird
Award-winning journalist and screenwriter Scott Gold will serve as writer and executive producer. Harriet Gavshon and Tim Greene of South Africa’s Quizzical Pictures will executive produce.
Logline: An Army veteran who needs to disappear in a hurry falls in with a ragtag collective of mercenaries on their way to Africa with a dangerous and unusual mission: to protect the most iconic animals on earth by entering into armed conflict with poachers. This provocative, fast-paced, one-hour drama follows the superhighways of wildlife trafficking, a $10 billion-per-year, global enterprise of kingpins, corrupt governments and criminal syndicates, all of them determined to cling to power and money at any cost.

AMC Studios Development for Potential Sale to Content Companies

The Sparrow
Based on the science-fiction novel by Mary Doria Russell, executive produced by Mark Johnson with Johan Renck as director and executive producer.
Logline: In the near future, humans on Earth receive their first evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life when a radio telescope picks up a strange signal, sounding like exquisite  music, from a distant planet that will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible expedition, the Jesuit leadership quietly organizes an eight-person scientific mission of its own, comprised of a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. What they find is a world so far beyond comprehension that it will lead them to challenge the very notions of humanity and faith itself.

Fates and Furies
Based on the novel by Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies is written and produced by Eliza Clark and Zack Whedon.
Logline: An examination of a marriage and creative partnership, Fates and Furies explores two perspectives of a marriage, from the husband and the wife, and the truths and secrets that evolve over 24 years.

I Run Hot
Eliot Glazer is the executive producer/writer and is attached to star. Ilana Glazer will executive produce and direct.
Logline: I Run Hot follows the unlikely friendship between Eliot, a gay curmudgeon who never quite fit in with the community, and Colton, a famous #instagay who can’t help but exemplify it.

Work It Out
Becca Gleason to executive produce and write. Anna Camp will executive produce and star. Michael Showalter and Jordana Mollick of Semi-Formal Productions will executive produce with Showalter directing.
Logline: It’s 1994 in Myrtle Beach, and Kayla Tate — a long-time Jane Fonda devotee and aspiring aerobics superstar — will do whatever it takes to establish her workout empire in this darkly comedic half-hour.


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