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‘Better Call Saul’ sparks excitement in Albuquerque

February 10, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) — New Mexico’s largest city is back to being featured in another television show more than a year after the end of AMC-TV series “Breaking Bad.”

“Better Call Saul” premiered Sunday, and city officials hope the prequel to the hit series sparks more interest in Albuquerque after “Breaking Bad” spawned tours, sales of novelty items and even a political ad during the last election.

More than 100 fans showed up for a premiere “Better Call Saul” viewing party at an Albuquerque brewery, and more such gatherings are scheduled for the remainder of the season. One lawyer, Ron Bell, who some speculate the show’s main character is loosely based on, has a billboard advertising “Better Call Bell.”

Already the city’s visitors’ bureau has created a website to help tourists find Albuquerque sites from the TV show.

New Mexico’s new Attorney General Hector Balderas even thumbed out a tweet during the show to let its main star, Bob Odenkirk, know that the state’s top cop was watching him. “Hey @BetterCallSaul @mrbobodenkirk, know that the Attorney General of New Mexico will be keeping an eye on you this evening,” Balderas wrote.

“Better Call Saul” follows a struggling criminal lawyer born Jimmy McGill, who later changes his name to Saul Goodman, as he defends drug lords, petty criminals and those allegedly injured in traffic accidents.

In “Breaking Bad,” Odenkirk played the lawyer of methamphetamine lord Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston.

Tania Armenta, a vice president for the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, said interest in “Breaking Bad” Albuquerque sites has not slowed, and they remain particularly popular with European tourists. City officials expect even more interest with “Better Call Saul.”

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter: http://twitter.com/russcontreras.

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