Technology saved 'Breaking Bad': Bob Odenkirk

There are cult TV shows and then there is 'Breaking Bad' but Bob Odenkirk, the shady lawyer Saul Goodman from the series, says the drug drama struggled for an audience in its initial seasons. Odenkirk, who is the only actor to have a spin-off – 'Better Call Saul' – from the show, says AMC had faith in the story despite it poor ratings.

"'Breaking Bad', when I joined it, was nearing the end of its second season and was struggling to find an audience and stay on TV," said Odenkirk. The 54-year-old actor says the show, about the transformation of a chemistry teacher into a methamphetamine- making drug lord, gained a global audience with the help of streaming services. The show was perfect for streaming. We were able to develop this massive audience. Technology basically saved the show." Creator Vince Gilligan has also credited binge-watching behind the popularity of 'Breaking Bad'. Odenkirk's character was initially small but it soon became a fan favourite and the writers decided to explore the origin story of Saul in a new show, which is currently in its third season. For Odenkirk, it is a surprise that "Better Call Saul", which airs in India on Colors Infinity, not only managed to survive but also gain critical acclaim as he was prepared that a follow-up to 'Breaking Bad' would be resented.

"I was surprised at the openness people gave us, that audiences gave us, the opportunity that critics gave us. I was very surprised and thankful." He says it was easy for him, creators Gilligan and Peter Gould to develop the back story of Saul as his personal life was never explored on 'Breaking Bad'. He also directed 'Melvin Goes to Dinner', 'Let's Go to Prison' and 'The Brothers Solomon'. The actor believes he has become an expert in morally- ambiguous characters but says portraying Jimmy McGill, (Goodman's real name) is more challenging.
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