ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Looks like New Mexico has another hit on its hands.
AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” which is set in and filmed in Albuquerque, premiered with 6.9 million viewers Sunday night, making it what the cable network says is the biggest series premiere in cable history.
“Better Call Saul” takes place six years before the beginning of “Breaking Bad” and follows the transformation of Jimmy McGill from a down and out lawyer into Saul Goodman, an ace attorney for the criminal element. Bob Odenkirk reprises his “Breaking Bad” role in the new series.
To compare the two series, “Breaking Bad” didn’t reach more than 6 million viewers until the penultimate show. Then its finale brought in 10.3 million viewers, which was a record for the series.
The series’ average hovered between 2 million and 3 million viewers through its first five seasons.
“Better Call Saul” began production in June and was housed at Albuquerque Studios. According to the New Mexico Film Office, it employed at least 75 to 90 New Mexico crew members and hundreds of extras. The office also said a show brings in a direct spend of $1 million for every eight days of shooting. It takes eight days to shoot one episode.
The first season contains 10 episodes, and months before the first episode aired, AMC gave the show the green light for its second season, which also will film in Albuquerque.
According to the Neilsens, the show drew 4.4 million viewers ages 18 to 49 and 4 million ages 25 to 54.
The second episode of “Better Call Saul” aired at 8 p.m. Monday.