TIME Television

This Doesn’t Look Like a Billboard for Better Call Saul! But It Is

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, Michael McKean as Chuck - Better Call Saul _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC
Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, Michael McKean as Chuck. Ursula Coyote—AMC

Take a closer look

The billboard pictured below is a real billboard that an Instagram user saw on I-25 in Albuquerque, N.M., and at first glance, it doesn’t look like it has a whole lot to do with Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul! But once you remember what we’ve learned about the upcoming series, expected to premiere in 2015, however, the connection is clear. The show will be set in 2002, while Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) was still known as Jimmy McGill.

The phone number listed on the billboard also works, so feel free to give it a ring if you’re craving a message from Saul Goodman Jimmy McGill.

[via Vulture]


TIME Television

Can Gotham Pull Off a Superhero Show Without Any Superheroes?

Detective Jim Gordon (Ben Mackenzie) and Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) in "Gotham."
Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) in "Gotham." Jessica Miglio—FOX

The series' creator confirms that Batman wouldn't appear on a show that doesn't really need him anyway

At the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Sunday, Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller confirmed what many had already suspected: the titular city’s most famous resident, Batman, will never appear on the show. The announcement didn’t come as a surprise: Gotham is the origin story of Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), meaning that the series’ events take place years — decades, even — before the Caped Crusader’s arrival (though a young Bruce Wayne will appear).

But the choice is also a bold one. Fox has a lot riding on Gotham, the network’s first foray into the superhero genre — a genre poised to begin making an impact in television as explosive as the one it’s already made in film. The natural inclination would be to pull out all the stops, to leave all avenues and possibilities open. Instead, Heller has closed the one door that would appeal more to mainstream audiences than any other.

It’s also probably the right decision. CW’s Arrow has earned a devoted following and a measure of critical acclaim by telling the origin story of its eponymous superhero (so much so that the network is attempting to replicate the formula with The Flash, which debuts this fall as well). But Green Arrow isn’t Batman. We could spend all day debating the merits and abilities of the two superheroes — both of whom belong to the DC Comics universe — but there’s no question who’s the bigger star. Arrow works as an origin story largely because he’s not one of that universe’s most prominent superheroes, and his story has mostly been told in print, rather than on a screen.

Batman, on the other hand, is a character with whom audiences have grown intimately familiar over the last two decades, most recently thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Batman is no longer a mystery (and will become even less of one with Ben Affleck set to don the black suit for 2016′s Batman vs. Superman). In many ways, the city of Gotham still is.

A common refrain on Arrow is that Oliver Queen returned after a five-year shipwreck to “save” his hometown of Starling City. It’s hard to argue that Nolan’s Batman wasn’t endeavoring to do the same with Gotham City. But if we know how Batman ultimately saved Gotham, what remains is answering the question of why it needed saving in the first place.

Even more so than Starling City, Gotham City is a metropolis filled with colorful characters — many of them iconically unsavory ones. Just because Batman won’t be showing up in Gotham doesn’t mean many of his future adversaries won’t be around to serve as an unyielding stream of nemeses for Detective Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). Just as crucially, producers won’t have to worry about audiences believing that everything prior to Batman’s arrival was simply a prelude. And frankly, villains were always the more compelling characters in the Batman universe. Bruce Wayne isn’t without his fans, but even Nolan’s Batman films were at their best when someone other than the Dark Knight — most notably Heath Ledger’s Joker — was stealing the show.

That’s not necessarily the case in the Marvel universe, where ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been attempting to pull off a similar trick. Though the show managed to score a second season, critical and commercial response was middling. Part of the series’ shortcomings was due to the fact that the Avengers themselves weren’t involved — not to mention a lack of any particularly memorable villains. More significantly, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t have a setting like Gotham — arguably the most developed and best-known in all of superherodom (which is not a real word but should be).

It’s telling that the show isn’t named Gordon. Gotham City itself will be as much the focus of the series as any of the characters inside it. What exactly that means, we won’t know until September. But if the city was vital enough for Batman to save it over and again, maybe it’ll be worth it for Gotham viewers to immerse themselves in the lore of Batman’s hometown — even if he never shows up at all.

TIME Television

The Second Season of FX’s Fargo Will Travel Back in Time

Keith Carradine as Lou Solverson in Season 1 of "Fargo."
Keith Carradine as Lou Solverson in Season 1 of "Fargo." Chris Large—Chris Large

The upcoming campaign, set in 1979, will feature at least one familiar face — well, sort of

Yesterday we learned that not only would Fargo be returning for a second season on FX, but also that no members of the Season 1 cast (even those lucky few who survived the 10-episode bloodbath) would be returning for Season 2. If it’s any consolation to fans of the excellent first season, however, at least one character in the upcoming season — which may not air until the fall of 2015 — will be somewhat familiar.

Season 2 of Fargo will take place in 1979, predominantly in Sioux Falls, Luvurne and Fargo, and focus on a young Lou Solverson (Molly’s dad), who was a retired state police officer played by Keith Carradine in Season 1. Seeing as Solverson will be only 33 during the events of Season 2, Carradine won’t be back to reprise the role (and neither will Allison Tolman as his daughter). No announcement has been made as to who might take that lead role, though it hasn’t stopped some from throwing out one name as a possibility.

Despite the all-new setting and cast for Season 2, Fargo‘s new story shouldn’t be entirely unfamiliar for viewers of Season 1. Carradine’s character made reference to one of his most harrowing cases taking place in Sioux Falls, so it’s a good bet what went down with all those bodies “stacked so high, you could’ve climbed to the second floor.”

Showrunner Noah Hawley says that the show will continue to draw inspiration from Coen Brothers films, with the upcoming season taking cues from Fargo, Miller’s Crossing and The Man Who Wasn’t There.

Though a complete overhaul of cast, setting and time period might seem a bold approach for a show with just 10 episodes under its belt, there’s little reason to believe that Hawley won’t be able to pull it off. Fargo was arguably the best new show of 2014, and as long as Hawley remains at the helm, its future appears bright.

TIME Television

Good News for Fans of Good TV: FX Picks Up New Seasons of Louie and Fargo

LOUIE: Episode 14: "Pamela Part 3" (Airs Monday, June 16, 10:30 pm e/p). Pictured: Louis C.K. as Louie. CR: KC Bailey/FX
Louis C.K. as Louie. FX Networks.

2015 will bring the fifth and second seasons, respectively, of the two acclaimed shows

It’s not a huge surprise, but FX announced today that Louie and Fargo will both be returning to your televisions sometime in 2015. Louie, which wrapped its fourth season in mid-June, will have just seven episodes (down from 13 or 14 in each of the first four seasons), but any Louie is better than no Louie at all.

Initially, Fargo was intended to simply be a one-off, but the critical acclaim garnered by the show’s initial ten-episode run likely inspired FX to change that plan. The new season will feature a new story, a new setting and all new actors — most crucially, however, showrunner Noah Hawley will return to steer the ship. It’s a little sad imagining a Fargo without Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) or Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks), but there’s no reason to believe that Hawley won’t have as much success crafting Fargo‘s second season as he did its first.

Related video:

TIME Television

Troubling Times for Chalky White in the New Boardwalk Empire Teaser

Things seem to have gone from bad to worse for the once-powerful leader of Atlantic City's north side


When Michael K. Williams revealed that Boardwalk Empire would jump forward to 1931 for the HBO drama’s final season, the time-jump brought with it the possibility that Williams’ Chalky White may have improved upon his diminished circumstances from Season 4′s finale. If the new “St. James” teaser that HBO released last night is any indication, however, Mr. White seems to be in even worse conditions than when we last saw him.

Though the teaser isn’t totally explicit, it seems Mr. White has spent — or is currently spending — some time in prison. Also in a bad way is Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol), who appears trapped in some sort of straightjacket/bathtub contraption. We also get quick glimpses of Nucky (Steve Buscemi), Margaret (Kelly MacDonald), Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), Dr. Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), Al Capone (Stephen Graham) and Charlie Luciano (Vincent Piazza), but the brief 53-second clip doesn’t hint much about what they’ll be up to in Season 5.

Boardwalk Empire returns on HBO on Sunday, Sept. 7.

TIME Television

This Concept For a Breaking Bad Sequel Is Spectacularly, Gloriously Insane

Val Kilmer cutting off own hair.
Actor Val Kilmer cuts his hair off on stage while filming the new Terrence Malick movie during day one of Fun Fun Fun Fest at Auditorium Shores on November 2, 2012 in Austin, Texas. Rick Kern—WireImage

Naturally, it's a half-million dollar Kickstarter, and would star Val Kilmer and Slash. Shut up and take my money

Maybe you really, really miss Breaking Bad. Maybe you can’t wait for Better Call Saul. Maybe you’re an avid follower of Val Kilmer’s Twitter feed. Or maybe you just spend your days swimming around a pool filled with money like Scrooge McDuck. Whatever your reason, you could hardly be blamed for donating a few dollars to this Kickstarter that is requesting $500,000 to make a “sequel” to Breaking Bad called Anastasia.

Leaving aside the fact that TV series don’t have “sequels,” per se (usually you’d call it a spinoff or, you know, just keep making the show itself), it sounds pretty fantastic. Val Kilmer (because of course) and Slash (ditto) would play U.S. Marshalls sent in to track down whoever stole Walter White’s body in the opening scene of Anastasia‘s pilot (oh yeah, that happens). From there, it’s really anyone’s guess, but creator Lawrence Shepherd says that he’s already finished scripts for all ten episodes of the first season.

Some of you might be saying to yourselves, “This sounds mighty far-fetched to me.” Fair, but then again, so was a high school chemistry teacher becoming the biggest drug kingpin in the Southwest. Kilmer hasn’t signed on yet, but the man does love himself a good desert and in an interview with VICE, Shepherd seemed confident about his chances of landing the Top Gun star: “From what people tell me about Val Kilmer, you don’t have to pay him a million dollars. If there’s some money there, he’ll typically do it.”

Shepherd is a little more concerned about getting Slash — who would “stay in the ‘Slash’ character” and “will always be undercover” — due to the musician’s other obligations, but he’s sweetening the pot by naming Slash the show’s musical director. Other big names who will be invited to appear in Anastasia (as recovering addicts) will include Russell Brand, Jamie Lee Curtis, Steven Tyler, Dick Van Dyke, Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey Jr., Robin Williams, Neil Young and Eminem — all of whom would be permitted to improvise their own dialogue, which would “elevate Anastasia to an even higher level of quality and randomness.”

It’s also not entirely clear what the origins of the series’ title (Anastasia) is, but Shepherd has set his sights on at least one female co-star for Kilmer and Slash: Jana Mashonee, who would play Slash’s girlfriend.

Though production has yet to begin, Shepherd has already been compelled to change a few of his casting choices. He told VICE he was turned down by Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me), and abandoned his first choice for Kilmer’s role — Nathan Lane — because of prospective travel expenses. These hiccups could explain why Anastasia has received just $440 of its half-million dollar funding goal. The project’s August 1 deadline is rapidly approaching, but Shepherd says he plans to re-start it if the series is not funded on the first go-round.

TIME Music

Beyonce Leads the 2014 VMAs With Eight Nominations

"On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" - East Rutherford
Beyonce performs during the "On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" at MetLife Stadium on July 11 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Kevin Mazur—2014 Kevin Mazur

Eminem and Iggy Azalea each scored seven nominations for MTV's biggest award show

MTV announced its nominees for the 2014 Things They Don’t Show Anymore Video Music Awards this morning, and because the network knows their demo, they did it via Snapchat (last year they used Instagram and Vine, which apparently are totally outmoded). The awards, which are on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. ET, will feature performances by Usher, Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Here’s the list of this year’s nominees:

Video of the Year
Beyoncé ft. Jay Z, “Drunk In Love”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Sia, “Chandelier”

Best Hip-Hop Video
Childish Gambino, “3005″
Drake ft. Majid Jordan, “Hold On (We’re Going Home)”
Eminem, “Berzerk”
Kanye West, “Black Skinhead”
Wiz Khalifa, “We Dem Boyz”

Best Male Video
Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell Williams, “Sing”
Eminem ft. Rihanna, “The Monster”
John Legend, “All of Me”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”

Best Female Video
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Problem”
Beyoncé, “Partition”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J, “Dark Horse”
Lorde, “Royals”

Best Pop Video
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Problem”
Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc, “Wake Me Up”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz, “Talk Dirty”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

Best Rock Video
Arctic Monkeys, “Do I Wanna Know?”
Black Keys, “Fever”
Imagine Dragons, “Demons”
Linkin Park, “Until It’s Gone”
Lorde, “Royals”

Artist to Watch, Presented by Taco Bell
5 Seconds of Summer, “She Looks So Perfect”
Charli XCX, “Boom Clap”
Fifth Harmony, “Miss Movin’ On”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Schoolboy Q, “Man of the Year”

Best Collaboration
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Problem”
Beyoncé ft. Jay Z, “Drunk In Love”
Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga, “Loyal”
Eminem ft. Rihanna, “The Monster”
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J, “Dark Horse”
Pitbull ft. Kesha, “Timber”

MTV Clubland Award
Calvin Harris, “Summer”
Disclosure, “Grab Her!”
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
Martin Garrix, “Animals”
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams, “Stay the Night”

Best Video With A Social Message
Angel Haze ft. Sia, “Battle Cry”
Avicii ft. Dan Tyminski, “Hey Brother”
Beyoncé, “Pretty Hurts”
David Guetta, “One Voice”
J. Cole, “Crooked Smile”
Kelly Rowland, “Dirty Laundry”

Best Cinematography
30 Seconds to Mars, “City of Angels”
Arcade Fire, “Afterlife”
Beyoncé, “Pretty Hurts”
Gesaffelstein, “Hate Or Glory”
Lana Del Rey, “West Coast”

Best Editing
Beyoncé, “Pretty Hurts”
Eminem, “Rap God”
Fitz and the Tantrums, “The Walker”
MGMT, “Your Life is a Lie”
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams, “Stay the Night”

Best Choreography
Beyoncé, “Partition”
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz, “Talk Dirty”
Kiesza, “Hideaway”
Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake, “Love Never Felt So Good”
Sia, “Chandelier”
Usher, “Good Kisser”

Best Direction
Beyoncé, “Pretty Hurts”
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
Eminem ft. Rihanna, “The Monster”
Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”
OK Go, “The Writing’s On The Wall”

Best Art Direction
Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
Eminem, “Rap God”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Tyler, the Creator, “Tamale”

Best Visual Effects
Disclosure, “Grab Her!”
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
Eminem, “Rap God”
Jack White, “Lazaretto”
OK Go, “The Writing’s On The Wall”


TIME Television

Game of Thrones Is Using Almost All New Directors for Season 5

Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in Season 4 of "Game of Thrones"
Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in Season 4 of "Game of Thrones" Helen Sloan—HBO

Familiar faces — including Neil Marshall and Michelle MacLaren — won't be directing new episodes of the popular HBO show, with only one Thrones veteran returning

Over the course of its five seasons, Game of Thrones has become known nearly as much for its epic visuals as it has for its sprawling storytelling. Naturally, talented directors like Neil Marshall (responsible for Season Two’s “Blackwater” and Season Four’s “Watchers on the Wall”), Michelle MacLaren (four episodes of Thrones and a pair of Emmy nominations for her work on Breaking Bad) and Alan Taylor (six episodes, as well as 2013′s Thor: The Dark World) play a substantial role in creating that style.

So when it was announced on EW.com that many of the directors responsible for creating some of the series’ most iconic episodes were not returning, it was a bit of a surprise. That said, HBO is bringing an impressive group of newcomers to Westeros (alongside David Nutter, who has helmed four past episodes of Thrones).

Here’s the full list:

Episodes 501 and 502: Michael Slovis (episodes of AMC’s Breaking Bad and NBC’s Law & Order: SVU)

Episodes 503 and 504: Mark Mylod (episodes of Showtime’s Shameless and HBO’s Entourage)

Episodes 505 and 506: Jeremy Podeswa (episodes of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Showtime’s The Tudors)

Episodes 507 and 508: Miguel Sapochnik (episodes of Fox’s House and Fringe)

Episodes 509 and 510: David Nutter (known as “the pilot whisperer” for his track record in getting pilots picked up to series; Nutter directed four epiosdes of Thrones, plus many other shows)

And, of course, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are returning as showrunners (though not behind the camera for any episodes in 2015), so it’s unlikely Game of Thrones will look all that different from how you remember it.

TIME Television

The 5 Most Ridiculous Moments and Subplots From 24: Live Another Day

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY:  Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) hunts Cheng in the "10:00 PM - 11:00 AM" Event Series Finale episode of 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY airing Monday, July 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Chris Raphael/FOX
Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) with a very large firearm. Chris Raphael—FOX

From assassination attempts and murdered terrorists to unassailable makeup and questionable pronunciation choices

NOTE: Spoilers from this season of 24, including the finale, below

The latest season of 24 wrapped its 12-episode run last night with Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) turning himself over to the Russians in exchange for the safety of best friend Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and his family. Though this most recent campaign was, by all accounts, as violent as previous seasons of the show, its 10-minute conclusion was oddly peaceful. Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) seemed to resign her position in the C.I.A. not with a scream or a sob, but rather with the quiet and unprompted relinquishing of her badge and gun. President Heller (William Devane) didn’t beat his chest over the death of his daughter, instead accepting the bizarrely comforting reality that he won’t remember her death, or her or anyone else in a few months time. And Jack — he finished the season not in a bloody rampage but with a simple act of loyalty, friendship and resignation.

In light of the end, it’s important we not forget what 24 is really all about: absurd, ridiculous, unfathomable subplots and moments that make you say, “What?!” and then are forced to accept and move on because there’s always another one coming up right around the corner. Here are five of those moments:

1. The President of the United States of America was blown up in the middle of Wembley Stadium.

That’s a thing that actually happened. Or at least that we believed happened for a week, until it was revealed that President Heller had been rescued at the very last second, unbeknownst to the terrorists targeting him (or the audience). Part of the reason it was so absurd was that it wasn’t as though the Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley) and her band of not-so-merry terrorists hatched an ingenious plot to assassinate the President that somehow, miraculously, worked out. Instead, the President simply agreed to allow himself to be smuggled away from his criminally lax protective detail by a known fugitive, placed in the center of London’s largest stadium and be blasted to smithereens. You’ve also got to remember that this is a show where downloading a simple file onto a flash drive could end in countless lives lost and some sort of catastrophic international incident, yet arranging the murder of a President can be pulled off without a hitch.

2. Everyone kept pronouncing “nuclear” like “nuke-ULAR.”

Over and over and over again. It’s not as if characters on 24 were the first to do so (far from it, in fact), but their insistence on the pronunciation is a bit puzzling, given how ridiculed that particular phoneticism is. All the more strange: Phillip Winchester who played Colonel Shaw was one of the biggest “nuke-ULAR” offenders, but on Cinemax’s Strike Back, he’s pronounced the word correctly countless times (and in a British accent). Sometimes the world just doesn’t make sense, especially to your ears.

3. Jack Bauer murdered two major international terrorists in cold blood in two separate incidents on the same day, and no one cared.

Listen, I’m all for giving Jack Bauer carte blanche. If everyone just listened to what he had to say from the beginning of each season, the show could be called 2, and America wouldn’t have endured countless fake terrorist attacks and presidential assassinations since 2001. That said, the Jack of Live Another Day may not have always been operating in the best interests of counter-terrorism. First, he averts a drone strike against Waterloo Station. Good Jack. Then he punishes a handcuffed Al-Harazi — who may have had valuable information about the override program and who else would be after it — by throwing her out an open window to her death five stories below. Bad Jack. Later, Jack captures Cheng Zhi and compels his old nemesis (with a katana held to Zhi’s neck) to utter his name on camera in order to avert full-blown war between the U.S. and China. Good Jack. Then, to avenge Audrey’s death, he uses the aforementioned katana to decapitate Zhi. Very bad Jack. Though maybe he was just worried about the overcrowding at Guantanamo.

4. Chloe’s Makeup.

This doesn’t really require any sort of explanation, other than to say that there was a lot of it, and that it was never smudged or otherwise altered, despite many rain showers, tears and beatings it endured. Is there such a thing as facial makeup tattooing?

5. There was no just-one-final mole or huge reveal of a character from Jack’s past.

Count Zhi if you like, but he only appeared in parts of four seasons and wasn’t a particularly memorable villain. What really would have made a splash is if Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) — still alive, somehow — was the one on the other end of the line once Jack discovered that Chloe was missing. 24 rarely passes up the opportunity to have a genuine “What?!” moment, so the relatively straightforward nature of the season’s final hour was perhaps the most unlikely outcome of all. Still, though, if Tony’s not back for the inevitable 10th season (24: Russian to Save the World, if the producers are taking suggestions), we’ll all be rather disappointed.

TIME Television

Everything We Know About Breaking Bad Spinoff Better Call Saul!

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman - Better Call Saul _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC
Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman Ursula Coyote/AMC—© AMC Network Entertainment LLC. and Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The much-hyped Breaking Bad spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk arrives in 2015, but no word yet on whether fans will get another glimpse of Walter White

At long last, the slow trickle of new information about the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul! finally turned into a stream on Friday night. Creators Vince Gilligan (who also served at Breaking Bad‘s showrunner) and Peter Gould answered questions about the upcoming AMC series at the Television Critics Association’s press tour. Coupled together with previous bits of information about the show, here’s what we now know about Better Call Saul:

WHO: Bob Odenkirk will reprise his role as shady attorney Saul Goodman, though when we first meet him, he’ll be known as Jimmy McGill (Better Call Jimmy doesn’t rhyme though). Jonathan Banks will also return as “fixer” Mike Erhmantraut. New cast members will include Michael McKean as Saul’s brother, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando and Rhea Seehorn. Here’s what Gould had to say about the possibility of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) making an appearance: “These are all characters we love and with Gus there is so much more to say about that character, and we certainly love Giancarlo… Although in the series it always seemed to me that Saul didn’t know Gus directly. He knew a guy who knew a guy.”

The prospects of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) returning seem even iffier. “If it makes sense we’ll do it, if it doesn’t make sense we won’t,” Gilligan said. Basically, Gilligan and Gould made it clear that even though Better Call Saul! will occupy the same universe as Breaking Bad, the focus will shift in a very new direction.

WHAT: This is, by all accounts, the murkiest aspect of the series. We know it will revolve around Saul’s transformation from the small-time Jimmy McGill into Albuquerque’s most infamous criminal attorney.

WHEN: The show will take place in 2002 (Gilligan: “I hesitate to say it, but it is indeed a period piece”), approximately six years prior to the beginning of Breaking Bad. The creators also confirmed that, like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul will have a non-linear timeline and flash both forward and back.

WHERE: Like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul! will take place in Albuquerque.

WHY: Probably because Breaking Bad has been lauded as one of, if not the greatest, dramas in television history, and Saul was a fan favorite — not to mention ideally suited to a new show that will employ even more dark humor than its predecessor. This might also be a good place to mention that Better Call Saul! (which will have 10 episodes in its first season and 13 in its second) got bumped to 2015 because, as Gilligan explained, “I am slow as mud as a TV writer.”

HOW: One aspect of the spinoff that looks like it will represent a significant deviation from Breaking Bad is its visual style. “We’re doing our damnedest to make it as different as possible. It’s important that this not look like a carbon copy of Breaking Bad,” Gilligan said. Though we may not get as many POV shots or looks at the expansive New Mexico desert, there will be a few Bad alums behind the camera for Saul‘s first few episodes, including Gilligan, Michelle MacLaren and Colin Bucksey.

There’s still no official premiere date for the series, but the recent deluge of information should only heighten fans excitement for a return to the Breaking Bad universe.

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