Big Door Prize Has The Good Taste To Cast Chris O'Dowd As A Comedy Lead

Apple TV+ has cast the lead for its next comedy series, and it's none other than the great Chris O'Dowd. O'Dowd, who can be seen in everything from "The IT Crowd" to "Bridesmaids" to the Emmy-nominated "State of the Union," will be taking the lead role in a new series called "The Big Door Prize," Variety reports.

Apple TV+ has a great track record with comedy series, and "The Big Door Prize" seems poised to follow in the good-natured footsteps of shows like "Ted Lasso" and "Schmigadoon!" The series will be 10 episodes long, with "Schitt's Creek" executive producer David West Read adapting the story and serving as showrunner. Skydance Television and Studio Dragon also have executive producers on board.

A Magical Machine Appears

"The Big Door Prize" is based on a 2020 book of the same name by M.O. Walsh. The book is set in a small town where order is disrupted by the sudden appearance of a machine called DNAMIX. The nondescript machine, which pops up in a local grocery store, is said to magically tell town residents what their "true potential" looks like. Think similar to one of those career aptitude tests you had to take in school, only more invasive (in the original story it requires a DNA swab).

O'Dowd is set to play Dusty, a man "whose deeply average life has followed a safe and predictable path," according to Variety. Dusty is a teacher whose life changes when he encounters the mystical machine firsthand. The source material's premise seems to promise simple, quirky fun, but O'Dowd always delivers layered performances that add true emotion to even the most comedic situations. The machine apparently forces Dusty to call his current happiness into question and changes the town and its residents forever.

It's unclear from initial details whether the series will change elements of Walsh's novel, such as the Louisiana setting. Everything we've heard about this story indicates that "The Big Door Prize" will be an uplifting show, but after O'Dowd's unnerving guest appearance in The Twilight Zone reboot, we still can't help but wonder if there's more to this inexplicable magic machine than meets the eye.

"The Big Door Prize" does not currently have a release date.