Fans give ‘Breaking Bad’ spin-off thumbs up

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s big return to the TV screen could mean big things for the city’s economic future.

After the major success of “Breaking Bad,” the TV spinoff “Better Call Saul” premiered to big crowds Sunday night at watch parties throughout Albuquerque. Many are hoping the show will stick around for years to come for not only the laughs, but the cash another successful TV production could bring.

About 100 people packed Tractor Brewing on 4th Street NW near I-40, while a handful of people watched at Gioco’s sports bar on Central near Washington to watch the show’s hour-long plus premiere.

“Better Call Saul” details the back story of the “Breaking Bad” fan-favorite character named Saul Goodman. The show takes place about six years before the events of “Breaking Bad.” The show’s title character is played by Bob Odenkirk, but his character is named “Jimmy McGill.” In part, the show seeks to explain how McGill changed his name.

“Breaking Bad” was very good to Albuquerque in a financial sense. The city’s Economic Development Department estimates that the production of that show spent about $1 million per each episode of “Breaking Bad.”

In past reports by the LA Times, estimates indicate that the show infused about $60 million to $70 million worth of spending and wages into Albuquerque.

So is the spinoff any good? Critics have given it lots of positive reviews so far, and many fans were applauding the show at the end of the first episode.

“Original characters for this first season made a lot of people excited. You could tell the audience was really getting into it,” said Stephen Myers.

“Oh it was great, I thought it was fantastic. Yeah, it was really funny,” said Jessi & Sean Campbell.

“Great start, great start, it’s nice to have them back and I really missed them,” said Bruce Washburn.

“Just looking forward to seeing the episode tomorrow,” said Jeanne Dawson.

“Better Call Saul” started filming in Albuquerque last June. AMC has already ordered a second season of the show to be shot. The show’s premiere continues Monday evening on AMC at 8 p.m. MST.

New Mexico state lawmakers are trying to lure more TV shows to New Mexico as well through a new bill. The legislation calls for removing television from state’s $50-million cap for entertainment productions. That would allow for the state to give out more tax credits to TV shows.

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