The Breaking Bad universe returned to television triumphantly Sunday night with AMC’s premiere of Better Call Saul, a spin-off prequel starring Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, er… Jimmy McGill, the man destined to become the preferred lawyer of Albuquerque’s meth traffickers. Boosted by the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead, Saul bowed to nearly 106,000 total Tweets, 34,000 of which elicited an emotional reaction, 4.95x the average total reactions of a drama series.
Episode 2’s premiere, which aired the next night, received more than 18,700 emotional reactions out of 56,700 total Tweets. We took to Canvs to dive deeper into the emotional stories the Better Call Saul two-night premiere told.
Retaining Breaking Bad’s Audience
Out of nearly 27,000 unique Twitter authors who reacted emotionally to the series premiere, more than 14% also tweeted emotionally during the Breaking Bad series finale in September 2013.
Even better, more than 21% of the Twitter users who reacted during Episode 2 returned from the previous night’s premiere (14,800 unique authors with a two-night overlap of 3,175).
Catch the Excitement
During the first five minutes of the series premiere, 40% of all reactions fell into the excited category. These reactions spiked again after Tuco Salamanca’s surprise appearance at the end of the episode.
Excited reactions were slightly tempered leading up to the Episode 2 premiere-- only 23% of the reactions between 10 and 10:05 p.m. expressed excitement. However, as also seen in Episode 1, excitement spiked as fans watched the upcoming scenes for next week’s airing.
They’re Loving It
Despite a somewhat slow start resulting in a handful of boring reactions, love Tweets began to fly in the latter half of Episode 1 into Episode 2. While the largest spike of love reactions occurred at the end of Episode 1 (1,520), Episode 2’s desert scene got everyone talking.
Between 10:30 and 10:35 p.m. ET on Monday, Jimmy and Tuco’s standoff drove the largest share of love Tweets (54%) and the most total reactions (2,377) during a single five-minute segment in either episode. The 1,285 love tweets during this period weren’t too shabby, either.
Delicious Product Placement
When we first met present-day, black-and-white Saul, he was managing a Cinnabon in Nebraska. The branded marketing partnership between Cinnabon and the Saul team seemed to pay off, as 64% of all emotional Tweets mentioning the company fell into the love category. Overall, 2% of all reactions during Sunday night mentioned “Cinnabon.”
The black-and-white opening drew a polarizing response, however. While 38% of all reactions to the black-and-white style were in the love category during the first 10 minutes of Sunday night’s episode, 21% of reactions hated it.
Cast of Characters
The return of Mike Ehrmantraut, who would go on to serve as Saul’s “cleaner” in Breaking Bad, drew favorable reactions from the Twitter audience. The revelation of Mike working as a courthouse parking attendant garnered 62% love reactions and 14% excited reactions.
Tuco and Chuck, Jimmy’s brother, each drew a significant amount of crazy reactions during both episodes. Here is the character and crew emotional breakdown from the first two episodes:
Creator Vince Gilligan also factored in to the emotional conversation during both episodes, accumulating a high amount love,crazy, and brilliant reactions from the Twitter audience.
Without The Walking Dead serving as Saul’s lead-in on Monday, night-over-night ratings fell by more than 50% and total reactions dropped by 45%. It will be interesting to monitor this trend in the following weeks, but an average of 26,400 emotional tweets during the two-night premiere is a great start to what will hopefully be another compelling series from Gilligan.