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'Saul' is good with 9 Emmy nominations

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut in “Better Call Saul,” which is filmed in Albuquerque. The two actors received Emmy nominations on Thursday. (Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

“Better Call Saul” is shining bright to the tune of nine Emmy nominations.

The AMC drama – based at Albuquerque Studios – wrapped up its third season in June with an average of 1.6 million viewers.

On Thursday, the series, along with Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, picked up nominations in lead and supporting actor, respectively. It is Odenkirk's third straight nomination for his role as Saul Goodman.

HBO's “Westworld” and NBC's “Saturday Night Live” led all nominations with 22 each.

“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off from the ratings juggernaut and pop culture giant “Breaking Bad.”

“Better Call Saul” is set in 2002 and follows Jimmy McGill six years before his appearance on “Breaking Bad” as Goodman, Walter White's slimy lawyer.

Odenkirk has played the role for a number of years and says a role like Goodman doesn't come around often.

“It's really a unique journey and not something we see in today's world,” he said.

Banks also picked up his second straight nomination for his role as Mike Ehrmantraut, and the series was recognized in the best drama category.

Creator and writer Vince Gilligan picked up a directing nomination for the series.

The other nominations are for outstanding music supervision, writing for a drama series, sound mixing and two nominations for single-camera picture editing.

During the series' three seasons, it has become a critics' darling and amassed 23 Emmy Award nominations. It has also been renewed for a fourth season.

AMC also picked up a nomination for short form comedy or drama series for the “Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training” online video.

“The Film Office would like to congratulate 'Better Call Saul' for their well-deserved Emmy nominations,” said Nick Maniatis, New Mexico Film Office director. “We acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the New Mexican crew, vendors and actors that have contributed their talents to make the series Emmy worthy. It's a great reflection on our healthy New Mexico film industry.”

Missing from this year's nominations is Emmy favorite – and Santa Fe resident George R.R. Martin's – “Game of Thrones.” The previous Emmy winner didn't qualify for nominations because it didn't air between June 2016 and May 31, 2017.

Executive Producer Vince Gilligan, right, sets up a scene for a “Better Call Saul” episode. Gilligan received an Emmy nomination for directing. (Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

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