AMC Networks today announced it is developing Orphan Black: Echoes and Straight Man. Both series are expected to debut in 2023.
Orphan Black: Echoes is a long-awaited new series set in the world of the landmark series Orphan Black. Produced and distributed globally by Boat Rocker, the company behind the original series, Orphan Black: Echoes will have a 10-episode first season.
Anna Fishko (Pieces of Her, The Society, Fear the Walking Dead) is creator, writer, showrunner and executive producer with John Fawcett, the co-creator of the original series who also directed 17 episodes across all five seasons, on as director and executive producer.
David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, executive producers from Boat Rocker on the original Orphan Black series, return as executive producers on the new series. Katie O’Connell Marsh, Nick Nantell, and Kerry Appleyard will also executive produce for Boat Rocker.
Set in the near future, the new Orphan Black takes a deep dive into the exploration of the scientific manipulation of human existence. It follows a group of women as they weave their way into each other’s lives and embark on a thrilling journey, unravelling the mystery of their identity and uncovering a wrenching story of love and betrayal.
“Orphan Black had a remarkable run on BBC AMERICA, attracting millions of dedicated and highly engaged fans, captivated by a smart and engrossing story and a star-making and Emmy-winning performance by Tatiana Maslany,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “We can’t wait to dive back in with Anna, John and our partners at Boat Rocker and deliver an all-new version of this rich world that is worthy of the #CloneClub.”
“We started our journey down the Orphan Black rabbit hole when Sarah Manning watched Beth Childs inexplicably jump in front of an oncoming train. Since then, a passionate fandom has joined us for a wildly entertaining ride,” said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Co-Executive Chairmen, Boat Rocker Media and Co-Chairmen, Boat Rocker Studios, and executive producers of both the original and new series.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with AMC and Anna Fishko and joining forces again with John Fawcett, to boldly reenter the Orphan Black universe. Once again, we welcome Clone Club along for the ride and look forward to adventuresome new fans taking the leap. Strap yourselves in and hold on!”
Said Fishko: “I am thrilled to begin this new chapter in the world of Orphan Black. Creating a story that embraces the legacy of the original show has been so gratifying, and I’m excited for audiences to embark on a new journey that explores the big questions of what makes us who we are. I’m incredibly lucky to have such supportive partners in Boat Rocker, John Fawcett and AMC, and can’t wait to introduce audiences old and new to the next installment of this beloved story.”
Said Fawcett: “Embarking on a new saga of Orphan Black with Anna, our partners at Boat Rocker, and AMC could not be more exciting. For all our dedicated OB fans out there, I am thrilled that we can bring this new chapter to them. Without our fans, this new show certainly wouldn’t exist and for that I am deeply grateful. I can’t wait to ‘follow the crazy science’ for them!”
AMC Networks is also fast tracking development of a new series starring Bob Odenkirk called Straight Man with partners Sony Pictures’ Television TriStar TV and Gran Via. Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein, who are adapting the project from the novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo, would serve as co-showrunners.
Straight Man would be Odenkirk’s third series on AMC, following Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Zelman, Lieberstein, Odenkirk, Peter Farrelly, who is on board to direct, Richard Russo, Naomi Odenkirk and Marc Provissiero are executive producers.
Straight Man is a mid-life crisis tale set at Railton College, told in the first person by William Henry Devereaux, Jr. (Odenkirk), the unlikely chairman of the English department in a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt.
“Bob Odenkirk is just as good as it gets. We feel so fortunate to be developing a new show that would keep him at AMC after Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, two iconic series that have been beloved by millions of fans and helped define AMC and its reputation for unforgettable characters and high-quality storytelling for adults,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks.
“We’re also thrilled to be working again with our partners at Sony Pictures Television and Mark Johnson’s Gran Via to explore this compelling material.”
Said Bob Odenkirk: “I loved Paul and Aaron’s take on Richard’s excellent, entertaining novel. Once again a project with AMC with a focus on character depth and sensitivity. This milieu (academia) seems very pertinent to the conversations we’re all having. I am drawn to the tone of humanity and humor in the novel and I look forward to playing this role – something lighter than my recent projects but still closely observed and smart.”