Jimmy McGill is the kind of desperate lawyer who sits by his phone waiting for potential clients to call in the new AMC series Better Call Saul. Well his phone was ringing off the hook today, because Better Call Saul set a cable ratings record in Sunday's debut.
AMC notes that 4.4 million viewers in the 18-49 demo tuned in to see the premiere of the Breaking Bad spin-off, making it the "biggest series premiere in cable history." That number also meant an impressive 3.4 rating, which would not be great for a broadcast network debut but is historic for a cable series. Overall, the dramedy pulled in 6.9 million viewers.
For comparison's sake, The Walking Dead, currently television's top dog, debuted in 2010 with a 2.7 rating, and the previous record holder for a cable debut was HBO's Deadwood, which drew 3.7 million viewers in the 18-49 demo in 2004, according to Vulture.
But this news needs a bit of perspective, because Better Call Saul was launched on a special night so it could siphon some viewers as the lead-out to the return of The Walking Dead, cable's equivalent of airing after The Super Bowl. And when you consider that Better Call Saul lost more than half of The Walking Dead's 15.6 million-viewer audience, then Better Call Saul's record comes with an asterisk.
We'll get a better idea of Better Call Saul's staying power when it flies solo on Monday night, its regular timeslot where it will continue to air for the rest of its first season. But until then, enjoy the victory Saul Goodma-er, Jimmy McGill!
How do you think Better Call Saul will do without The Walking Dead as its lead-in?
TODAY'S VIDEO: Can the Sleepy Hollow stars guess the headless celeb?