Better Call Saul season 5 just wrapped up 10 thrilling episodes over on AMC. For a sizable percentage of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fans, that can only mean one thing: the wait for Better Call Saul season 5 to arrive on Netflix has now officially begun.
Like its Breaking Bad predecessor before it, Better Call Saul has aired all of its episodes on cable network AMC. But also like Breaking Bad before it, Better Call Saul is produced by Sony Pictures Television. This means that the show is able to negotiate its streaming home on its own terms. And early on in Breaking Bad’s run, the powers that be made the truly important decision to go with Netflix.
It’s no secret that Breaking Bad’s inclusion on Netflix was partially responsible for the show’s long-term success. After three seasons of critical adoration but middling ratings, Breaking Bad first arrived on Netflix prior to its fourth season’s premiere. Fans’ ability to catch up on the show via streaming ended up being hugely beneficial to both the show and AMC as viewership began to increase in season 4 and then eventually doubled in season 5. Vince Gilligan even thanked Netflix at the Emmy Awards following the show’s conclusion, saying the streamer “kept us on the air.”
That mutually beneficial relationship among cable network, TV series, and streaming service has continued apace in Better Call Saul. Currently the first four seasons of Better Call Saul are available to stream on Netflix and season 5 is set to arrive in the future as well. How distantly in the future though? Unfortunately, that’s where the bad news begins.
You may have noticed two paragraphs ago that Breaking Bad only became available on Netflix immediately prior to the fourth season airing on AMC. Since then, that’s become the prevailing theme for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Netflix release dates. Whenever a new season of Better Call Saul is set to premiere on AMC, the previous season will arrive on Netflix two weeks earlier.
Better Call Saul season 1 became available on Netflix shortly after the finale premiered. It arrived earlier on Netflix UK, of course, which served as the country’s primary distributor. After that, season 2 came to Netflix on March 27, 2017, two weeks before season 3 premiered on AMC. Season 3 broke the mold by coming to Netflix in March of 2018, five months before season 4’s August 2018 premiere. This aberration was due to season 4’s production getting pushed back a bit. The pattern resumed when Better Call Saul season 4 arrived on Netflix on February 9, 2020, two weeks before the AMC premiere once again.
Better Call Saul season 6 will be the final season of the show, suggesting the writers have a plan in place that will keep production on schedule and avoid any season 4-style delays. This means that we can safely expect Better Call Saul season 5 to arrive on Netflix two weeks before season 6. When will that be? That’s anyone’s guess. But AMC has opted for early winter release dates whenever it can. Barring anything unexpected, expect to see Better Call Saul season 5 come to Netflix sometime in February 2021.