Edinburgh TV Fest: Vince Gilligan Lauds David Chase, TV Renaissance

11:24 AM PST 08/22/2013 by Georg Szalai
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"I have a good feeling about it," he says about a possible "Breaking Bad" spinoff.

EDINBURGH – Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan was greeted with much applause and adoration here on Thursday as he gave a master class session at the annual TV industry festival in the Scottish capital.

Asked about his next project at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Gilligan reiterated past comments that he would like to do a Breaking Bad spinoff focused on the Saul Goodman character portrayed by Bob Odenkirk.

Asked about its status, he once again signaled that nothing was official. "Knock on wood," he said. "I have a good feeling about it."

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Some of Thursday's discussion focused on the TV writing process in the U.S. and how its use of writers rooms is different from the U.K., where one main writer tends to pen a series.

Questioned about industry watchers' description of the present as another golden age for TV in the U.S., Gilligan said he was happy about how things have shaped up in recent years. "This so-called golden age has been great for folks like me," he said.

Asked what has driven this success of TV shows, particularly drama, in recent years, Gilligan said: "I have to give all credit to David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos. He paved the way for anti-heroes in TV."

Gilligan also said that the Jesse Pinkman character was marked for death at the end of the first season of Breaking Bad -- "before we cast Aaron Paul." Soon after seeing him in the pilot, Gilligan said he decided "that this guy was just too good to kill him off."

He quipped that Paul "got very nervous" for a second when he heard that Pinkman was originally planned to get killed. "I meant it as a compliment" for his acting skills, Gilligan explained.

He also shared that he has let his six writing colleagues outvote him on some big scenes. In one case, for example, "my six fellow writers said I was drunk, and I had to sit down," Gilligan quipped.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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