‘Lucky Hank’ EP Paul Lieberstein Says New AMC Show Is ‘The Office’ With ‘Smarter People’

Winter TCA: The alum of the hit NBC sitcom serves as co-showrunner, executive producer and writer on the Bob Odenkirk-starring series

Paul Lieberstein SAG Indie Cast Party - 2018 Tribeca Film Festival
Paul Lieberstein attends the SAG Indie Cast Party at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at Lucky Strike on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Former “The Office” star, executive producer and writer Paul Lieberstein says he’s kind of going back to what he knows with his new AMC show, “Lucky Hank.”

Based on Richard Russo’s novel “Straight Man,” “Lucky Hank” stars Bob Odenkirk as the titular character, the unlikely chairman of the English department in a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania.

“I was really interested in the world,” Lieberstein said Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, “and I was looking to develop something at the university. And part of it came from this idea of ‘The Office,’ just with smarter people. And they’re all kind of like people that you know.”

AMC describes “Lucky Hank” as a “midlife crisis tale set at Railton College.” Lieberstein said that the aspect of tenure, in which a professor earns a permanent position at a university, was especially good source material.

“I love this idea of tenure, the way you’re just trapped in success,” he said. “It allows people to behave really badly.”

“Lucky Hank” also stars “The Killing” star Mireille Enos and will feature guest turns by Kyle Maclachlan, Oscar Nunez, Chris Diamantopoulos and Tom Bower. It premieres Sunday, March 19 on AMC and AMC+.