“Better Call Saul” is back, though not that many people seem to know that.
On Monday, just 2.6 million total viewers served as witness to the legal dramedy’s Episode 201. That is way down from last year’s highly anticipated series debut, when the “Breaking Bad” prequel bowed to 6.9 million.
The current tally is actually just about 38 percent of last year’s big audience. Better call Walter White for a cameo.
In the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, the premiere-over-premiere percentage drops were even more drastic. Of the aforementioned 2015 viewership, 4.4 million came from that all-important age range — a cable record. This week’s episode landed just 1.3 million demo-aged viewers, per Nielsen’s Live + Same Day count.
As far as an actual demo rating, 2015’s “Saul” debut pulled in a 3.4 among those 18-49. This one had a 1.1.
Both of those mean the Season 1 opener has been sliced into less than one-third of its key demo audience.
So what exactly happened?
Well, a year ago, the Bob Odenkirk vehicle had the big benefit of a “Walking Dead” lead-in, which compiled a whopping 15.6 million total viewers. Unfortunately, “Walking Dead” is a Sunday show, and this year “Saul” premiered in its usual Monday time slot.
Plus, Monday’s return had to contend with CBS’s Grammy Awards in much of the country. The Grammys were down, but still got 25 million total viewers — that’s a lot of preoccupied eyeballs.
Finally, going up against WWE’s live “Monday Night Raw” on cable is also a bit of a tall order, which possibly helped lay the smackdown on “Saul’s” Season 2 opener.
AMC waits for seven-day delayed viewing numbers to come in before reporting ratings for its shows, a fair decision, especially for these critically acclaimed cable dramas.