Bob Odenkirk's New TV Show Straight Man Has Been Renamed Lucky Hank

Perhaps one of the most bittersweet things in television in recent memory is the ending of "Better Call Saul." Yes, it's sad that the critically acclaimed prequel series has ended. However, now that it's over, the show's incredibly talented cast and crew can move on to new and exciting projects. After the excellent track record that "Better Call Saul" had, anything the talent does at this point should be something to look forward to. Vince Gilligan is already re-teaming with Rhea Seehorn on his upcoming sci-fi tv series for Apple TV+ that will be a departure from the writer's recent work in the "Breaking Bad" universe. Additionally, "Better Call Saul" star Bob Odenkirk had found his next big role as the lead in a new original series, once again at AMC. 

Ever since Odenkirk's first appearance in "Breaking Bad,"  the actor has found a home with the network as he's inhabited the role of the criminal lawyer for the better part of 13 years on AMC. Now, after several seasons playing the same characters, the actors are moving on to new lead roles for the network that will hopefully lead to more critical acclaim. Originally titled "Straight Man," the title of the 1997 novel that the show is based on, TV Line has reported that the eight-episode limited series now has a new name: "Lucky Hank." The show will follow the life of William Henry Devereaux Jr. (Odenkirk), an English professor at the end of his career.

'A new mashup of comedy and drama'

For Odenkirk, the series has some tonal overlap with "Better Call Saul." The newly titled "Lucky Hank" has a tonal balance that is seemingly the opposite of what Odenkirk's last show accomplished. "Better Call Saul" certainly had some comedic moments, especially in its earlier seasons (who could forget Tony, the toilet buddy?). However, the series was primarily a drama that got darker and more serious the more it went into "Breaking Bad" territory. 

While speaking to Entertainment Weekly about "Lucky Hank" in September 2022, Odenkirk essentially laid out the differing tonal balance to the limited series, which drifts more to the comedic side of things:

"I love the tone. 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."

Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein will serve as showrunners for "Lucky Hank." Lieberstein is more popularly known for his work on "The Office," where he not only portrayed the character Toby Flenderson but also served as a producer on the show and even directed several episodes. If the executive producer's previous work is any indication, it seems that Odenkirk will have the opportunity to stretch his comedic muscles in the new series. There is currently no release date for "Lucky Hank," but the series is expected to debut on AMC sometime in 2023.