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SYFY WIRE Poker Face

Poker Face: Why We Have Rian Johnson's Wife to Thank for the Hit Peacock Series

The complete first season of Poker Face is now streaming on Peacock!

By Josh Weiss
Karina Longworth, Natasha Lyonne and Rian Johnson

Like many Hollywood projects, Peacock's Poker Face was partly the result of two creatives being in the right place at the right time.

Sitting down with Melanie Lynskey for a discussion facilitated by Variety, star Natasha Lyonne revealed how she and Rian Johnson began to discuss the potential series at a book signing event for Johnson's wife: writer, journalist, and historian, Karina Longworth.

How Rian Johnson's Wife Karina Longworth Helped Kickstart Poker Face

"Karina and I were friends. And so Rian and I ended up sitting at a book signing of hers, and next thing I knew we were cooking up this idea," she recalled. "I think he’d seen Russian Doll, and I’m never very far from Peter Falk or Elliott Gould in The Long Goodbye — I try to keep them close. Rian had this idea for doing this one-hour, and I remember us pitching, and the reaction was sort of like, 'A procedural? Are you crazy?' And what was so profound and moving to me is that he actually wrote it and sent it to me, and we actually made it."

RELATED: How Rian Johnson’s Poker Face Was Born Out of a Columbo Binge During COVID Lockdown

And that is how the fan fan favorite character of Charlie Cale — a human lie detector cruising the United States and solving murders in a battered 1969 Plymouth Barracuda — began her journey to the small screen. Of course, it would take "a lot of steak-and-french-fries together meals" to completely hash out all the details.

"I’m so moved that somebody who is that much of a giant would actually stop what they were doing and say, 'I want this for you so we can make this show together that will go on hopefully for many years, so we can keep going to dinner and keep texting casting ideas, and keep dreaming about fun episodes together,'" continued Lyonne, who also serves as an executive producer.

The complete first season of Poker Face — which currently holds a rare and near-perfect score of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes — is now available to stream on Peacock. Thanks to the loose nature of the show's anthology format, you can jump in anywhere. Don't know where to begin? Click here for SYFY WIRE's rundown of the best five episodes released so far! 

A second season was officially green-lit back in February. Due to the writers' strike and the third Benoit Blanc movie, however, it'll be a while until we see new episodes.

Want to check out more gumshoe work while you await Charlie's small screen return? All seasons of Columbo and Murder She Wrote are also streaming on Peacock!