Apple TV+ shows intent signing Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan for new show

When it comes to critical successes in television drama, Vince Gilligan certainly knows what he’s doing. Not only did he create Breaking Bad, widely regarded as one of the best dramas of the last few decades, but he managed to follow it up with a prequel in the shape of Better Call Saul that wowed viewers and pulled in awards once again.

With such serious credentials and a track record of big hits, it’s fairly clear that every network and streaming provider would want Gilligan’s next project premiering on their service.

And it’s Apple TV+ who has won the day, it appears, with Deadline reporting the streamer has signed Gilligan on for a two-season straight to series deal for a yet-to-be-named “blended, grounded genre drama.”

What’s more, the show also has Rhea Seehorn attached, who fans of Better Call Saul will know as Kim Wexler.

Little is known about the show itself at this stage, but it is understood it will be a departure from the themes explored in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Deadline says the show will be “compared to The Twilight Zone.”

“The new series is said to be set in our world while putting a tweak on it, bending reality and focusing on people and exploring the human condition in an unexpected, surprising way. Thought-provoking but not a morality tale, the series also is expected to carry the signature Gilligan tone that infuses drama with humour.”

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler in Better Call Saul

It is thought the show will have a significant per episode budget (perhaps as much as $15m per episode) and is sure to be extremely good-looking on-screen if Apple TV+’s recent originals are anything to go by.

In snapping up the series, Apple TV+ is certainly showing its intent to solidify its place at the very heart of the premium TV market in the next few years at a time when more and more streaming services are launching and fighting for a decreasing pot of consumer cash caused by inflation and the cost of living.

Apple had a relatively slow start when it came to their TV service, perhaps because they had very little content on the service beyond their original shows and movies. Clearly, even with a lot of money and some of the biggest names in entertainment signing on to make content, it takes time and patience to find a groove and get to a point where the service starts getting serious attention.

After eye-catching launch shows like The Morning Show with big-name casts and the breakout comedy hit Ted Lasso, there was a period where things seemed to go a little quiet – until this year when Apple TV+ not only went into content release overdrive, it began releasing some of the best shows of the year.

From the brilliant mind-bending Severance and the epic multi-generational story of Pachinko, to the fascinating story of WeCrashed and the fantastically funny and dark Bad Sisters from Sharon Horgan to name but a few – Apple TV+ at £4.99 a month is now a serious contender for your streaming money if you’re looking for quality content on the small screen.

The addition of a new – and what will clearly be a very talked-about – show from Vince Gilligan only adds more momentum to the Apple TV+ train which is now thundering down the streaming rails at a speed that will surely have the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Disney taking notice.

Of course, the streaming wars have a long way to run, and all the big services are ramping up eye-catching and big budget productions to keep subscribers interested – from Tim Burton’s Wednesday on Netflix, the incredibly expensive and cinematic Rings of Power on Amazon and the constant flow of Star Wars and Marvel TV shows on Disney+, it’s hard to take your eyes off the box these days.

But with prices going up on everything, from energy to housing, and consumers needing to subscribe to more services than ever to get the best content – it feels like at some point, something’s got to give.

But for now, from a pure content perspective, this power struggle for dominance in the TV market means there are going to be more incredible TV shows made than ever.

If only there was enough time to watch them all.

Tim Glanfield

Tim Glanfield is a journalist, editor and broadcaster with more than 15 years experience writing about television, film and the entertainment business. He has been editor of RadioTimes.com, a writer for The Times (of London) and the Guardian as well as a freelance contributor to newspapers, magazines and websites across the world. He is author of the book Digital Economy or Bust: The Story of a New Media Startup and makes regular appearances on TV and radio in the UK.

Tim Glanfield has 40 posts and counting. See all posts by Tim Glanfield