Rian Johnson's Poker Face Series Adds Dascha Polanco, Lil Rel Howery Alongside Natasha Lyonne

In this age of peak television where just about every series requires showrunners to oversee multi-season story arcs (and viewers to watch episodes the moment they go live for fear of social-media spoilers), it is a balm to the old-school soul to know that Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne are out here making a throwback case-of-the-week series for Peacock.

Announced all the way back in March 2021, "Poker Face" will star Lyonne as a solver of mysteries via her inimitable Lyonne demeanor, which will hopefully transform the actor into her generation's Peter Falk. Details for the series are scarce, but casting news has been trickling out over the last month or so. Today, via Deadline, we learned that the dynamite duo of Dascha Polanco and Lil Rel Howery have joined the show in as-yet-undisclosed roles. Polanco has done knockout work alongside Lyonne in "Orange Is the New Black" and "Russian Doll," so it's a thrill to see them re-teaming once again. 

Howery? The man who almost gave his life for Eric André's wonderfully twisted "Bad Trip" is an absolute joy whenever he steps in front of a camera. He's a welcome addition to anything. He's also adept at comedy and drama, so who knows how Johnson and Lyonne will utilize him?

Polanco is the new Watson?

Polanco and Howery join a cast that already includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Benjamin Bratt, Stephanie Hsu, David Castañeda, and the back-on-the-radar-with-a-vengeance Adrien Brody. Given that this is a case-of-the-week series in the mold of "Columbo" and "Murder, She Wrote," you've got to figure some of these folks are going to be one-and-done villains. Hopefully, Polanco is in for the long haul. She has terrific chemistry with Lyonne and could be a blast as a Watson of sorts to Lyonne's Holmes.

Johnson is the creator, writer, and director (of three episodes at least) of "Poker Face." He is producing with his T-Street cohorts, Ram Bergman and Nena Rodrigue. Lyonne is executive producing via her Animal House banner alongside partners Maya Rudolph and Danielle Renfrew Behrens. Lilla and Nora Zuckerman ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") are also on board as producers and showrunners. 

The show is expected to air this year on Peacock, but a premiere date has yet to be set. It's possible the series could drop close to the hotly anticipated release of Johnson's "Knives Out 2," which is wrapped and expected to hit Netflix and theaters this fall. And you best believe we're pining for a Daniel Craig appearance on "Poker Face."