Bob Odenkirk navigates a midlife crisis in first look at AMC's Straight Man

Bob Odenkirk navigates a midlife crisis in first look at AMC's Straight Man

Bob Odenkirk may have just waved goodbye to AMC with the series finale of Better Call Saul, but his return to the network is well underway. On Wednesday, AMC released the first images from Straight Man, a new comedy-drama adapted from Richard Russo's 1997 novel of the same name.

Billed as a "midlife crisis tale," Straight Man is set at a struggling Pennsylvania college and unspooled in the first person by William Henry Devereaux Jr. (Odenkirk), the anarchistic chairman of the English department. The series will delve into issues outside the ivory tower as well, with Mirielle Enos playing Odenkirk's onscreen wife and Olivia Scott Welch as his adult daughter. (You can peek at the family dynamics in the photos below.) The cast also includes Suzanne Cryer, Diedrich Bader, Sara Amini, and Cedric Yarbrough.

Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'
Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'

Sergei Bachlakov/AMC Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'

"I love the tone," Odenkirk tells EW of the show. "It's more comic. I feel like I relate to the main character, who's a misanthrope. He's a cranky guy, but you like him. And I just think tonally it's great. It feels like a new mashup of comedy and drama that we've been on the verge of for a long time. [It's like] you took a very fun show — like a Parks and Rec — and you said, 'Let's slow down and get to know these people and have their internal battles be a little bit more of the subject matter.' So it's really a great mashup of comedy and the kind of drama that we've gotten to do on Better Call Saul and it's become more prevalent in streaming shows, and I think it'll be neat. I hope the audience is up for it."

The eight-episode first season will debut in 2023. Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein developed the series and will serve as showrunners.

Odenkirk — who also just signed up to star in the comedy film The Making Of Jesus Diabetes — isn't the only Saul cast member gearing up for a new TV project: Saul co-creator Vince Gilligan is creating an Apple TV+ series to star Rhea SeehornGiancarlo Esposito will topline the AMC drama Parish, and Michael Mando is set to star in the Apple TV+ drama Sinking Spring.

Bob Odenkirk, Mireille Enos, and Olivia Scott Welch on 'Straight Man'
Bob Odenkirk, Mireille Enos, and Olivia Scott Welch on 'Straight Man'

Sergei Bachlakov/AMC Bob Odenkirk, Mireille Enos, and Olivia Scott Welch on 'Straight Man'

Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'
Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'

Sergei Bachlakov/AMC Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'

Mireille Enos and Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'
Mireille Enos and Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'

Sergei Bachlakov/AMC Mireille Enos and Bob Odenkirk on 'Straight Man'

Mireille Enos on 'Straight Man'
Mireille Enos on 'Straight Man'

Sergei Bachlakov/AMC Mireille Enos on 'Straight Man'

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