Thursday, April 21, 2022

AMC Gives Series Order to Dramedy 'Straight Man' Starring Bob Odenkirk

AMC has today given a series order to the original dramedy series Straight Man starring Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul). The first season will produce 8 episodes, keeping Odenkirk at the cable channel after Better Call Saul finishes its six-season run later this year.

Based on the novel by Richard Russo, the drama is a mid-life crisis tale set at Railton College, told in the first person by William Henry Devereaux, Jr. (Odenkirk), the unlikely chairman of the English department in a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt.

Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein developed the series, with Peter Farrelly set to direct. All three will executive produce with Odenkirk, Russo, Mark Johnson, Naomi Odenkirk and Marc Provissiero. TriStar Television and Gran Via Productions will produce.

"The saying goes 'the third times a charm,' but when it comes to Bob Odenkirk on AMC, the first and second times were about as charming, captivating and viscerally entertaining as it gets," said Dan McDermott, President of Entertainment, AMC Networks and AMC Studios. "As Better Call Saul begins its epic sixth and final season, we could not be more excited by the prospect of keeping Bob at home on AMC and watching him breathe life into another nuanced, complicated and unforgettable character. The chance to collaborate once again with our partners at Sony Pictures Television and Mark Johnson's Gran Via is even more icing on a very satisfying cake."

"I am thrilled that AMC is embracing the unique scenario and characters in Paul and Aaron's adaptation of Straight Man," added Odenkirk. "I have loved the mix of comedy and drama in Better Call Saul, and this is another story with a unique dynamic, and the kind of closely observed character writing and exploration that AMC has become the touchstone for. It's going to be fun to play and watch!"

"We're so excited to work with Bob. We don't know another actor who can give you three different emotions on his face at the same time, in a reaction shot. We're thrilled to swim in the depth of his range," shared Zelman and Lieberstein. "And it's a dream to be working with Mark Johnson, who literally has Jedi powers to make everyone think they came up with his idea. Oh, and did we mention the legendary Peter Farrelly? AMC Networks and Sony/TriStar have been uniquely supportive partners in sharing our vision for the show. Ever since Mad Men we've wanted a show on this network, where risk taking is par for the course. We're honored to be bringing Richard Russo's amazing novel to life here."