How 'Better Call Saul' and 'Breaking Bad' Changed Albuquerque Forever

Breaking Bad, considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time, won nearly every television award in existence. Its spin-off prequel set six years prior, Better Call Saul, has also been critically acclaimed; as was El Camino, a feature-length film presented as an epilogue to Bad and released late last year on Netflix. For over a decade, creator Vince Gilligan has slowly been building out his own fictional universe in the Southwest, filled with con men, cartels, crime syndicates posing as fast food companies, and, of course, bright blue meth.

But one of Gilligan’s more incidental accomplishments during this time was helping to put Albuquerque, New Mexico on the map—not only as a major filming hub (Netflix bought Albuquerque Studios for close to $30 million in 2019, and signed an agreement promising $1 billion in production spending over the next decade), but as a destination for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fans. In both shows, the city of Albuquerque becomes as much of a central character as chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-cook Walter White (Bryan Cranston) or smarmy attorney Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), with most scenes shot on location throughout the region.