Man, people were even more excited to see Saul Goodman managing a Cinnabon — and defending teenagers who like to have sex with a corpse’s head — than AMC was expecting. Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spin-off/prequel made its premiere on Sunday night and can now safely be called a hit: it scored the highest ratings for a cable debut … ever. “Taking full advantage of a typically massive lead-in from The Walking Dead and brushing off competition from the Grammys on CBS,” reports Vulture, “Saul notched a 3.4 rating in the younger demo, which translates to 4.4 million viewers under 50. That’s nearly a million more than watched the previous record-holder — the 2004 launch of HBO’s Deadwood.”
And it’s a critical darling, too, and seems to have stepped out of Breaking Bad‘s shadow. NPR called it “a rare achievement: a great new series born from one of the best dramas in recent TV history.” Rolling Stone commented “It’s clear that Saul Goodman is a compelling enough slimeball to carry his own backstory.” However, a great start is just that — a great start. Better Call Saul airs at 10:00 on Monday nights, pitting it against the likes of Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, and State of Affairs.