Although Better Call Saul is now in its sixth and final season, it won’t be long before Bob Odenkirk returns to AMC: The network officially announced Thursday that the actor will star in the upcoming series Straight Man.
The drama, based on a Richard Russo novel, was put in development two weeks ago, but AMC formally greenlit the series Thursday. Straight Man will see Odenkick make the jump from a sleazy lawyer in New Mexico caught between drug lords to playing an English department chair at a Rust Belt college battling a midlife crisis.
Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein (a.k.a. Toby from The Office) will adapt and co-showrun the series, with the eight-episode first season due out in 2023, Variety reports.
“I am thrilled that AMC is embracing the unique scenario and characters in Paul and Aaron’s adaptation of Straight Man,” Odenkirk, who will also executive-produce the series, said in a statement. “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!”
With Straight Man, Odenkirk will have now spent at least the past 15 years as a fixture on AMC, having first appeared as Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad starting in Season 2 and continuing through six seasons of his own spinoff series. According to Variety, Odenkirk isn’t the only Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul veteran staying in-house as AMC has also ordered The Driver starring Giancarlo Esposito, or the Chicken Man, Gus Fring.
“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,” AMC entertainment president Dan McDermott said in a statement. “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.”