AMC Networks Presents Details For ‘Better Call Saul’, ‘The Divide’ and ‘The Honorable Woman’ [TCA 2014]

amc networks tca 2014

This past week, AMC Networks brought out its channels including AMC, SundanceTV and WE tv at the Television Critics Association Summer 2014 Press Tour and presented some of the new shows about to hit our screens including Better Call Saul, The Divide, and The Honorable Woman.

Better Call Saul

AMC

Probably the most anticipated show to come out of AMC is Breaking Bad‘s spin off Better Call Saul, which will focus on beloved character Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and take place before the events of Breaking Bad.

While the premiere is still far away (early 2015), show runners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould were present to answer some of our burning questions.

Here are some of the highlights from the panel:

– “It’s completely different and yet similar,” Gilligan said when asked how similar the show would be to Breaking Bad.

– Gould shared that anything that was possible in Breaking Bad in terms of storytelling is possible in this show (i.e. flash forwards, etc.)

– When asked how much liberty they have in writing the show since they know where they end up, Gilligan said “It’s a challenge.” He also explained that they realized as they started writing that they don’t really know this character at all.

– Gould shared they know Saul Goodman is not the name he was born with, which led them to ask “What problem does being Saul Goodman solve?”

– They are currently breaking episode 8 out of 10.

– When asked about the possibility of bringing back Breaking Bad characters like Gus, Gould said that there is always a possibility of bringing back these characters, however he also explained that they are trying to make something that stands on its own, that has entertainment value and that it’s not the series equivalent of a clip show. They want to make sure to find the right balance. At this point, they are still figuring out if and when we would perhaps see these characters.

– When asked about the delayed premiere for the series, Gillian took full responsibility saying “I am slow as mud as a TV writer.” Even though they originally planned to do things faster, they fell back into the rhythm of their Breaking Bad writing which has them write one episode during three weeks.

– Originally, the evolution and creation of Saul came about because they had a gap/opening to fill in the Breaking Bad universe after they were forced to kill a character that was supposed to stick around the whole season.

– On Breaking Bad they tried hard not to be specific in terms of when it took pace. However in this case they have to be a bit more specific and Gillian revealed that it takes places around 2002.

– Speaking of the show taking place around 2002, this also means that effort has to be put into making sure elements are right in terms of the period, for example the types of cars and phones used.

– In terms of new characters, we’re going to be meeting Saul’s brother, Chuck, played by Michael McKean.

– Gould directed the premiere episode and will be directing the last episode of the season as well.

The Divide

WE tv

WE tv is launching its first scripted series this summer, The Divide, which follows a case worker, Christine Rosa (Marin Ireland), with The Innocence Initiative, who looks into the case of a death-row inmate that she believes was wrongly convicted of murder. The series will focus on her pursuit of new proof, the people trying to stop her and how it all impacts everyone’s lives.

The panel for The Divide included series stars Marin Ireland (Christine Rosa), Damon Gupton (Adam Page), Nia Long (Billie Page), Joe Anderson (Terry Kucik), Clarke Peters (Isaiah Page), and co-creators Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– They decided on setting the show in Philadelphia because they needed a State that has the death penalty and where The Innocence Project is located.

– Marin Ireland interned with The Innocence Project in order to do some research into her character.

– Tony Goldwyn became fascinated with the subject when he started hearing stories from The Innocence Project. He shared that the impact on every life involved in a crime is “incredible.”

– Goldwyn directed the first two episodes of The Divide during a break from ABC’s Scandal, in which he plays President Grant.

– Goldwyn shared that The Innocence Project has seen the show and they’re thrilled with it.

The Divide premieres on July 16th at 9pm. You can watch the trailer below.

Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Honorable Woman

SundanceTV

SundanceTV has made a name for itself for its quality and subtle dramas such as Rectify, The Red Road and Top of the Lake, and this summer they premiere a new eight-part thriller series, The Honorable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The series follows Nessa Stein (Gyllenhaal), who inherited her father’s company, which used to supply arms, and changes its purpose by laying high-spec data cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank. At the start of the series, we find her in her thirties when she gets appointed to the House of Lords, which creates an international political turmoil because of her promotion of projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The panel for the series included series stars Maggie Gyllenhaal (Nessa Stein), Janet McTeer (Julia Walsh), writer/director/producer Hugo Blick, and executive producer Greg Brenman.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– They shot the series like a movie because all eight episodes had been written at the start of production. So in one day for example they would shoot things from episode 1, 4 and 8.

– The series was filmed in London.

– The story does have a conclusion and there are no plans for it to continue into a new season.

– Hugo Blick said “You’ll be a slightly different person by the end of it.”

The Honorable Woman premieres on July 31st at 10pm.