First look
July 12, 2014

Finally, some details about Vince Gilligan's hotly anticipated Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul.

Gilligan and fellow writer-producer Peter Gould took questions at Friday's Television Critics Association's press tour, and they offered up some tantalizing snippets about the show, set to premiere in 2015, reports Entertainment Weekly.

Star Bob Odenkirk isn't even "Saul," yet, for one thing; he's Jimmy McGill, a hustling lawyer facing off with fixer Mike Erhmantraut (Jonathan Banks, reprising his beloved role from Breaking Bad). Other confirmed series regulars include Michael McKean as Jimmy's brother Chuck, Rhea Seehorn as Kim, Patrick Fabian as Hamlin, and Michael Mando as Nacho.

The series will begin in 2002, six years before Walter White and Saul crossed paths ("I hesitate to say it, but it is indeed a period piece," Gilligan noted). Nevertheless, Gilligan promised a similar "non-linear storytelling" style to Breaking Bad, although he added that, "we're doing our damndest to make it as different as possible. It's important that this not look like a carbon copy of Breaking Bad."

While the Q&A left plenty of questions that will likely remain unanswered until the 10-episode first season premieres, take your best guesses with AMC's released photos, below. --Sarah Eberspacher

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman | (Ursula Coyote/AMC)

Odenkirk confers with Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan between takes | (Jacob Lewis/AMC)

Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, Michael McKean as Chuck | (Ursula Coyote/AMC)

This just in
1:29 p.m. ET
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After California legislators voted Monday to eliminate the state's personal belief exemption for school vaccinations, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the bill into law Tuesday. The legislation will require virtually all school-attending children in California to be fully vaccinated, the San Jose Mercury News reports, whether the school is public or private and regardless of their parents' religious or personal beliefs.

California's law does allow medical exemptions for children with serious health concerns and permits children with existing personal belief exemptions to go unvaccinated until their next checkpoint. Otherwise, the new law effectively requires all of California's school-age children either be vaccinated or be homeschooled. Only Mississippi and West Virginia have similarly strict laws.

"The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases," Brown wrote in an official statement. "While it's true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community." Kimberly Alters

champs
1:20 p.m. ET
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The World Health Organization has confirmed that Cuba is the first country in the world to eradicate mother-to-child transmitted HIV and syphilis. WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chen called the progress a "major victory."

"It shows that ending the AIDS epidemic is possible and we expect Cuba to be the first of many countries coming forward to seek validation that they have ended their epidemics among children," Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé added in the WHO report.

The Pan American Health Organization and WHO have worked jointly in Cuba since 2010. Globally, the organization estimates that 1.4 million women with HIV become pregnant every year and have a 15 to 45 percent chance of transmitting the virus to their children during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding. Likewise, nearly one million pregnant women become infected with syphilis. Jeva Lange

en pointe
12:56 p.m. ET
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The American Ballet Theater named Misty Copeland, 32, principal ballerina on Tuesday, making her the first African-American woman to hold the position in the company's 75-year history. Stella Abrera was also promoted to principal.

Copeland has been with the American Ballet Theater for 14 years and spent eight of those years as a soloist. Last week, she performed as Odette/Odile in "Swan Lake" at the Met; she has also performed in Alexei Ratmansky's "Firebird" and debuted in "Romeo and Juliet."

"When she's on, the audience is totally diverse," Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Judith Jamison told The Wall Street Journal. "This is what happens when you give people opportunity to do things they are capable of doing." Jeva Lange

D'oh
12:56 p.m. ET

As of today, 14 Republicans have announced their intentions to run for president in 2016 — which means 13 will be probably be looking for a new gig when the party selects its official nominee next year. In a video for Buzzfeed, Ted Cruz has submitted himself as a possible contender for another high-profile gig: a voice role on The Simpsons.

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Homer and Lisa... they're all there, kind of. Scott Meslow

Race and the South
12:43 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Less than two weeks after a white man shot and killed nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, officials granted approval to the Ku Klux Klan to hold a pro-Confederate flag rally on the Statehouse grounds.

The KKK's reservation was confirmed by Brian Gains of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, Politico reports. Gains explained in an email that the KKK was given the reservation because the office allows "any group, regardless of ideology, to reserve the grounds on a first-come, first-serve basis."

The event is slated for July 18 from 3-5 p.m. James Spears, Great Titan of the Ku Klux Klan's Pelham, North Carolina chapter, which reserved the grounds, said the group will be protesting "the Confederate flag being t[aken] down for all the reasons." Becca Stanek

Quoteables
12:28 p.m. ET

One day after NBC severed ties with 2016 GOP nominee Donald Trump over "derogatory statements" he made about Mexican immigrants, fellow GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz has sided with Trump.

"When it comes to Donald Trump, I like Donald Trump. I think he's terrific. I think he's brash. I think he speaks the truth," Cruz said in a Tuesday morning interview on Fox & Friends. Cruz added that NBC is "engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong."

NBC announced Monday it would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants, which Trump owns, and indicated Trump would be bumped from his role as host of The Apprentice. 

When asked if Mexican immigrants are "mostly" rapists and drug dealers, as Trump suggested in his speech, Cruz replied: "They're not mostly that. But Donald Trump — he has a way of speaking that gets attention. And I credit him for focusing on an issue that needs to be focused on."

"I don't think you should apologize for speaking out against the problem that is illegal immigration," Cruz said. "Donald Trump is exactly right to highlight the need" to crack down on illegal immigration, he added.

Trump expressed gratitude for having Cruz in his corner, sending a "thank you" tweet on Tuesday morning. Emily Goldberg

2016
11:58 a.m. ET
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

On Tuesday morning, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie formally announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in the gymnasium of his old high school in Livingston, New Jersey. "I am now ready to fight for the people of the United States of America," he said.

Christie critiqued the dysfunction of Congress and President Obama, and emphasized the country's need for "strong leadership and decisiveness to lead America again." He promised to run a campaign "without spin or focus on group pandering."

"You're going to get what I think," the tough-talking governor said, "whether or not you like it."

The New Jersey governor was once a rising GOP star — many high-powered conservatives all but begged him to run for president in 2012 — but his fortunes have since tanked, largely due to a 2013 scandal about politically motivated traffic on the George Washington Bridge. Christie is the 14th GOP candidate to enter the presidential race. Becca Stanek

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