Straight Man: Bob Odenkirk-Starrer Gets AMC Series Green Light

Earlier this month, we learned that a potential new series for Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk was being fast-tracked through development, with AMC, Sony Pictures' Television TriStar TV & Gran Via eyeing a series adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo's novel Straight Man. Well, that fast-track must've been pretty fast because AMC Networks announced earlier today that the project has received an eight-episode order. 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 will serve as executive producers.

straight man
Image: AMC/Allen & Unwin

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 have loved the mix of comedy and drama in 'Better Call Saul,'" Odenkirk said, "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." Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, added, "The saying goes 'the third time's 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." Zelman and Lieberstein are also looking forward to getting started, also adding, "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. … 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?"

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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