Ahead of Better Call Saul‘s sixth and final season debut later this month, AMC Networks has announced that they’re fast-tracking the development of Straight Man, a brand-new show starring Bob Odenkirk. The potential series will be based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo’s 1997 novel of the same name. The network and Sony Pictures Television are planning to launch the series in 2023.
“Bob Odenkirk is just as good as it gets. We feel so fortunate to be developing a new show that would keep him at AMC after Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, two iconic series that have been beloved by millions of fans and helped define AMC and its reputation for unforgettable characters and high-quality storytelling for adults,” President of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, Dan McDermott said in a statement. “We’re also thrilled to be working again with our partners at Sony Pictures Television and Mark Johnson’s Gran Via to explore this compelling material.”
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“I loved Paul and Aaron’s take on Richard’s excellent, entertaining novel,” Odenkirk stated. “Once again a project with AMC with a focus on character depth and sensitivity. This milieu (academia) seems very pertinent to the conversations we’re all having. I am drawn to the tone of humanity and humor in the novel and I look forward to playing this role – something lighter than my recent projects but still closely observed and smart.”
Straight Man will center around a mid-life crisis tale set at Railton College. The story will be told through the eyes of William Henry Devereaux, Jr. (Odenkirk), the unlikely chairman of the English department in a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt.
The series will be adapted and executive produced by Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein, with Peter Farrelly attached to direct. Executive producers are Odenkirk, Farrelly, Russo, Naomi Odenkirk, and Marc Provissiero. It is a production by Sony Pictures’ TriStar TV and Gran Via.
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Should the project get an official series order, this would be Odenkirk’s latest collaboration with AMC after working with them for over seven years with the Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul. For his leading performance in the past five seasons of the AMC series, he earned four Golden Globe nominations and nine Emmy nominations.