While Better Call Saul might be over, series star Bob Odenkirk has another project at AMC in the works. The new dramedy series Straight Man, which was ordered to series back in April of this year, has announced four new cast members joining the series alongside Odenkirk. The new cast members are American Housewife alum Diedrich Bader, Sara Amini (Future Man), Cedric Yarbrough (Carol’s Second Act), and Suzanne Cryer (Silicon Valley), all of whom are set to feature as series regulars alongside previously mentioned stars Odenkirk, fellow AMC alum Mireille Enos (The Killing) and Olivia Scott Welch (Panic).
The casting report originally came from Deadline, who also provided insight to the characters that the new additions to the cast will be playing in the upcoming series. Bader will play a philosophy professor at Railton, the school the Odenkirk‘s character William Henry Devereaux Jr. (aka Hank) also works. Described as Hank’s best friend, Tony has committed himself to the Bachelor lifestyle after his first marriage failed, Tony is described as a both “affable” and “charming,” and while he fancies himself a Bachelor, he still respects and upholds his title as both a philosopher and professor. Bader‘s recent credits include playing Greg Otto on ABC‘s American Housewife with other credits including voicing Batman in HBO Max‘s Harley Quinn, Better Things at FX, and HBO’s Veep. His film credits include Office Space, Napoleon Dynamite, and Miss Congeniality 2, among several others.
Cryer will play Gracie DuBois, a poetry professor at Railton, who cares much more for the poetry side of that title than the professor part despite her having a real knack for teaching. As someone whose love of language makes her feel both connected to the world and also proud of herself and her abilities, she can feel threatened when others don’t see the value of her poetry, which constantly finds herself at odds with Hank. Cryer had a series regular role on the last four seasons of HBO’s Silicon Valley, from 2015 to 2019, as Laurie Bream. Her previous recurring role credits include series such as The Fosters, All Rise, and Shameless, among others.
Yarbrough will play Paul Rourke, a poetry professor at Railton. A man that has built his whole self-image and esteem on his perceived sexual prowess and masculinity (and being on his third or fourth marriage), he is described as the “loudest person in the room.” He views himself as a rival to Hank, though it is clear that Hank is able to quickly get him to fall in line. His previous credits include appearing on ABC’s Speechless as well as having a recurring role on The Goldbergs at ABC. He most recently starred on Carol’s Second Act at CBS and recently wrapped filming on the indie comedy film The Donor Party, as well as the Netflix feature Unfrosted, among other projects. His other film credits include Get Smart, The 40-Year-old Virgin, The House and The Boss.
Amini will play Meg Quigley, who is described as an “adjunct professor seeking tenure at Railton,” though this is the school where her alcoholic mother also teaches. While a great and smart teacher, she often finds herself picking up shifts at the local bar in order to make ends meet. Meg holds Hank in high regard, due in large part to him being a better role model than her own mother. Hank also admires her, with the two having an “easy, flirtatious, rapport.” Previous credits to Amini‘s name include several video game roles like Anthem, Fallout 76, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart as well as having a season-long recurring role on Hulu‘s Future Man. She is also currently in a recurring role on the CBS series CSI: Vegas.
Straight Man is based on the 1997 novel of the same name written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo. The story follows William Henry Devereaux Jr., the unlikely interim chairman of the English department of the extremely underfunded Railton College found in the rust belt of Pennsylvania. The series will air on both AMC and AMC+. The series is being produced by AMC alongside partners Sony Pictures’ Television TriStar TV and Gran Via. Showrunners on the project will be Aaron Zelman (The Killing) and Paul Lieberstein (The Office). The duo will also serve as directors on the project, joining both Odenkirk and Peter Farrelly in the position. Russo will be an executive producer on the series adaptation of his novel alongside Zelman, Lieberstein, Odenkirk, Farrelly, Naomi Odenkirk, and Marc Provissiero.
Straight Man is currently in production and is set to premiere on AMC and AMC+ sometime in 2023.