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How the Internet Made 'Breaking Bad' and 'Better Call Saul'

"If ‘Breaking Bad' had aired five years earlier, it might not have made it past season one."

Jacob Lewis / AMC

The Internet changed the way we watch TV, and that changed the way TV gets made. Just ask Peter Gould, the co-creator of "Better Call Saul."

On the most recent episode of Re/code Media with Peter Kafka, Gould explained that he and the rest of the creative team behind "Saul," as well as its predecessor on AMC, "Breaking Bad," might owe their jobs to the Web. Bingeing, tweeting, re-watching and freeze-framing have completely opened up what’s possible in serialized TV, he said.

"If ‘Breaking Bad’ had aired five years earlier, it might not have made it past season one," Gould said.

(That echoes what we heard from Sony’s Michael Lynton at Code/Media 2016, who said Netflix deserves as much credit as AMC for the success of "Breaking Bad").

Gould also talked about what goes into the writing of a modern TV episode and how "Saul" is carefully structured around its commercial breaks. Plus, he recounts what happened when an offhand joke in "Breaking Bad" about Bob Odenkirk’s character Saul Goodman working at a Cinnabon turned into a regular on-screen gag in "Better Call Saul."

"The Cinnabon people have been wonderful to us," Gould said.

You can listen to or download the episode in the audio player above. And make sure to subscribe to Re/code Media with Peter Kafka, which is now an independent show separate from Re/code Decode. Click here to subscribe to the new show on iTunes.

Peter Kafka will be back next Thursday to talk to Troy Young, who heads up the digital side of legacy media giant Hearst.

Want more podcasts? Okay! This Monday on Re/code Decode, Arik Hesseldahl will interview Tanium CEO Orion Hindawi. On Friday, Kara Swisher will be on Too Embarrassed to Ask with Lauren Goode from The Verge to talk about wearable technology. Click here to subscribe to Re/code Decode and here to subscribe to Too Embarrassed to Ask on iTunes.

Finally, don’t miss Re/code Replay, where we’ve posted audio from Peter’s Code/Media 2016 conference. To subscribe to that, click right here.

You can follow @Recode on Twitter for the latest on upcoming guests.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Peter. You can also suggest guests for the show, and we’ll do our best to nab them for an interview.

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