In what's turning out to be a pretty busy day announcement-wise for AMC Networks, it looks like Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk won't be going very far when the Breaking Bad prequel spinoff series wraps its run this summer. A potential new series for Odenkirk is being fast-tracked through development, with AMC, Sony Pictures' Television TriStar TV, and Gran Via eyeing a series adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo's novel Straight Man. Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein are adapting the novel and serving as co-showrunners. Zelman, Lieberstein, Odenkirk, Russo Peter Farrelly (who is attached to direct), Naomi Odenkirk, and Marc Provissiero serve as executive producers.
AMC's Straight Man 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. "I loved Paul and Aaron's take on Richard's excellent, entertaining novel," Odenkirk said in a statement. "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."
"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," said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. "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."