With things at AMC looking grim, the channel better call Bob. And indeed they did, because the cable network is re-teaming with “Better Call Saul” star and “Breaking Bad” star Bob Odenkirk for a new series “Lucky Hank,” formerly titled “Straight Man.”
AMC announced that name change January 10 out of their Television Critics Association winter press tour conference and revealed it will premiere March 19. In addition, an (extremely short) teaser for the series was released, featuring an extreme close-up of a bearded Odenkirk and some philosophical narration.
Based on the 1997 novel “Straight Man” by Richard Russo, best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Empire Falls,” “Lucky Hank” has a similar premise as 2021’s Netflix series “The Chair,” which starred Sandra Oh as the stressed-out chair of a college’s English department. Odenkirk takes on the role of William Henry Devereaux Jr., the English department chair at Railton College, a poorly funded university in the Pennsylvania rust belt. The original book followed Devereaux — an anarchist — over the course of one increasingly chaotic week, as he contends with angry colleagues, suspects his wife of cheating on him with the dean, fights off his own attraction to a young adjunct professor, ponders his tense relationship with his father, and faces reminders of his own mortality.
“I’ve always been a difficult man,” Odenkirk narrates in the teaser. “I specialize in minor strife and insignificant irritation. That’s my lane.”
Along with Odenkirk, “Lucky Hank” stars Mireille Enos, best known for her performance on AMC’s “The Killing.” Aaron Zelman, a writer for “The Killing” and “Law & Order,” and Paul Lieberstein, who worked on “The Office” and “The Newsroom,” adapted the book for television and serve as co-showrunners on the season. Odenkirk executive produces alongside the two, in addition to his wife Naomi Odenkirk, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” executive producer Mark Johnson, “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly, original author Richard Russo, and Marc Provissiero.
Season 1 of “Lucky Hank” will run for eight episodes on Sundays, with the season finale set to air May 7. Watch the teaser below.
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