‘Better Call Saul’ Pays Big Dividends for AMC, Much Like ‘Breaking Bad’

The prequel is lighting it up across linear, streaming and social

Better Call Saul
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

“Better Call Saul” recently concluded the first half of its sixth and final season in explosive fashion, with the critically praised drama scoring big numbers across linear, streaming and social. The “Breaking Bad” prequel is the top acquisition driver in the history of the AMC+ streaming service and the third-biggest cable drama in the current broadcast season in key ratings demographics.

May 23’s midseason finale — which saw Jimmy and Kim execute the final phase of their elaborate plot against Howard — drew upwards of 2.2 million viewers in Nielsen’s Live+3 ratings. The shocking tragedy that resulted has set up the final leg of the beloved prequel in thrilling fashion.

“The response to this final season of ‘Better Call Saul’ from viewers, critics, long-time fans and new arrivals to the series — on all platforms — has been everything we had hoped for,” Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, said. “The series looks like nothing else on television, which is a tribute to the creative genius and excellence of Vince, Peter, Bob, Rhea, Giancarlo, Patrick, Jonathan, Michael, Tony, our partners at Sony and everyone else associated with this extraordinary effort.”

Over the first seven episodes of Season 6, “Better Call Saul” is averaging a healthy 2.2 million viewers per week in Nielsen’s Live+3 ratings, including nearly 900,000 in the advertiser-friendly 25-54 demo. The audience is nearly doubling each week from the live/same day broadcast to the Live+3 metric, showcasing an immense interest from viewers in catching up. In the crucial 15-54 and 18-49 demos, “Better Call Saul” ranks third this broadcast season behind only “Yellowstone” and “The Walking Dead.”

The show has also been the top-performing title on AMC+ in both viewership and the all-important acquisition metric since its season premiere on April 18, according to AMC. Episodic viewership on the streaming platform has grown 61 percent over the course of the season, culminating in season-high viewership for the recent midseason finale. It tracks just behind “The Walking Dead” as the second most-watched season in the lifespan of AMC+.

In today’s TV era, buzz and chatter tend to drive attention and viewership and Jimmy McGill certainly boasts the gift of gab. “Better Call Saul” has generated more than 17 million engagements across social platforms since its Season 6 premiere. It ranks as the top drama on broadcast and cable for conversation and organic search and the biggest cable drama in owned social engagement and content shares, according to data from ListenFirst. Much like its predecessor, the series is drawing bigger audiences as it careens toward its finale.

“‘Better Call Saul’ began as a spin-off of one of the most beloved television series of all-time and, over six unforgettable seasons, has become a true television landmark in its own right,” McDermott said.

“Better Call Saul” will premiere the first of its final six episodes on July 11.