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‘Better Call Saul’ has 5 final chances to win its first-ever Emmy Award on Monday night


When the strike-delayed 2023 Emmy Awards finally take place on Monday, January 15, 2024, “Better Call Saul” will have five final chances to win its first-ever trophy. You read that right. To date, AMC‘s “Breaking Bad” spin-off series has lost a whopping 48 times without a single win, including two last weekend at the Creative Arts for picture editing and sound mixing. (“Better Call Saul Filmmaker Training” was also up for Best Short Form Series, but that didn’t count toward its overall total.)

Monday night during Fox’s Emmy ceremony, the final five Primetime nominations for “Better Call Saul” will be announced: Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor for Bob Odenkirk, Best Drama Supporting Actress for Rhea Seehorn, and Best Drama Writing for both Gordon Smith (“Point and Shoot”) and Peter Gould (“Saul Gone”). If it doesn’t claim any of these five, “BCS” go down in television history as a 53-time Emmy also-ran. But as I like to say, ’tis better to have been nominated and lost than never to have been nominated at all.

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“Better Call Saul” ran for a total of six seasons on AMC, the last of which was split into two parts, making it eligible at the 2022 Emmys and 2023 Emmys. After primarily beginning as a prequel series to “Breaking Bad” about Odenkirk’s sleazy lawyer Jimmy McGill (aka Saul Goodman), its focus ultimately shifts to the future, as viewers see what happens to him after his involvement with New Mexico’s most powerful drug lords. In the “BCS” series finale, the two shows’ timelines catch up to each other and Jimmy goes to prison for his various crimes.

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In terms of the “Better Call Saul” cast, Odenkirk earned six total lead nominations across the seven Emmy cycles, missing only in 2020. Another four bids went to Jonathan Banks’ supporting performance as Mike Ehrmantraut (2015, ’16, ’17, ’19), a role he originated on “Breaking Bad.” Similarly, Giancarlo Esposito received two supporting notices (2019, ’20) for reprising the part of Gus Fring on the spin-off. Seehorn scored her second consecutive citation this year for playing Jimmy’s love interest Kim Wexler. And Michael McKean reaped a single guest nom as Jimmy’s brother Chuck McGill in 2019.

In the final episodes, several “Breaking Bad” characters popped up on “Better Call Saul” for the first time, including Bryan Cranston as Walter White, Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Mark Margolis as Hector “Tio” Salamanca and Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader. All four actors appeared on the 2023 Emmy ballot in the guest categories, but unfortunately, none of them made the cut with voters.

In the Best Drama Series category, “BCS” now holds the record for the most nominations (seven) without a win. While it doesn’t seem to have a great chance of toppling HBO’s trio of front-runners (“Succession,” “The White Lotus” and “The Last of Us”) this year in that top race, fans are still hoping it will claim a trophy for one of its other last chance nominations. Time is almost up.

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