The finale of Better Call Saul was a ratings bonanza for AMC.
If it pleases the court, AMC’s client was a ratings powerhouse.
With the end of Better Call Saul, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould will no longer terrorise Albuquerque with their open promotion of lawlessness and depravity. However, Saul never sparked the same passionate, loud, and obnoxious fandom as Breaking Bad, so perhaps there’s less to worry about. It didn’t infiltrate the early 2010s Internet with stupid memes of a guy in a porkpie hat declaring that he was the one who knocked. It did not spark sexist fan campaigns, which the show’s creator still regrets. In short, a statue of the infamous ambulance in front of the courthouse is unlikely.
Despite Bob Odenkirk’s rambling arguments over the years, Saul never achieved the same level of popularity as its predecessor. What could it be? Breaking Bad was battling overblown think-pieces declaring it the greatest television show ever made at the time of its finale. Breaking Bad’s silly little spin-off about the show’s huckster lawyer could never live up to those expectations, despite coming close.
Nonetheless, the show’s ratings were excellent, man.
Better Call Saul’s season finale was the most-watched episode of the season, according to AMC, with over 1.8 million viewers tuning in to see Jimmy McGill’s masterful final hour on the air. It was the most viewers the show had since the season three finale, prompting speculation that Michael McKean was the show’s Pied Piper, blowing his flute and leading fans to AMC. Better Call Saul also finished third in overall cable ratings for adults, trailing Yellowstone and Walking Dead.
The show also performed well on streaming platforms, where it “has been the #1 acquisition driver in the history of AMC+,” according to AMC publicity. Of course, AMC+’s history spans generations, if not aeons, as it only launched two years ago. Most importantly, more than four times as many people watched the season finale on AMC+ on the day it aired as they did the season premiere in the spring. The network also admits that, while Saul is popular, it has fallen behind The Walking Dead, a show that, like its titular characters, will never die.
Overall, this is good news for anyone who regards AMC as one of the last bastions of good adult television on basic cable. If AMC or FX pull an HBO, we’re screwed.