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SYFY WIRE Poker Face

'Poker Face': Natasha Lyonne teases the 'accidental detective' of Rian Johnson's Peacock series

Created, directed, and produced by Johnson, Poker Face arrives on Peacock Thursday, Jan. 26.

By Josh Weiss
Natasha Lyonne in POKER FACE

Don't you just love it when you unintentionally stumble onto the scene of a homicide and then take it upon yourself to solve the crime, even though no one wants you to? Oh, you have no idea what we're talking about? OK, so maybe that isn't such a universal experience, but it's certainly a regular occurrence for Charlie Cale, leading sleuth of Rian Johnson's upcoming Peacock original series, Poker Face.

"I really love the accidental detective," Natasha Lyonne, who leads the murder-of-the-week program, declares in the latest issue of Empire (now on sale). "You know, the person who stumbles into a life of solving things just because their brain works that way."

"[Charlie] gives this monologue in the pilot about how people are constantly lying," Johnson added. "You have to pay attention to why the person is lying about that specific thing."

RELATED: Rian Johnson: Each episode of Peacock’s ‘Poker Face’ mystery series is like ‘a movie’ all to itself

Armed with a talent for detecting fibs, Charlie traverses the country in her Plymouth Barracuda, a frosty Coors Light in hand as she solves different murders with a revolving cast of guest stars like Joseph Gordon Levitt, Adrien Brody, Nick Nolte, Chloë Sevigny, Ellen Barkin, Tim Meadows, Jameela Jamil, Lil Rel Howery, Noah Segan, and more. Johnson — who created, wrote, directed, and executive produced the show — was inspired by classic TV shows like Columbo, Magnum, P.I., Quantum Leap, and The Rockford Files.

"You sat down and you got an entire story," the filmmaker explained. "There was usually a fun guest star, and it was always anchored by a truly cool, charismatic personality." The anthological format also keeps things fresh. "The fact that with each new episode we can attack a totally different style and story and cast ... it's something similar to the mystery movies with Daniel [Craig]," he said, referring to the budding Knives Out franchise. "If I can keep doing it, then I will."

Poker Face is officially on the case Thursday, Jan. 26. The first four episodes will premiere on the same day, with the remaining six scheduled to drop on a weekly basis after that. Ram Bergman, Nora Zuckerman, Lila Zuckerman, Natasha Lyonne, Nena Rodrigue, and Iain B. Macdonald are also attached as executive producers. Maya Rudolph (co-founder of Animal Pictures with Lyonne) and Danielle Renfrew Behrens serve as co-executive producers.

Glass Onion, the second chapter in Johnson's Knives Out saga, is now available to watch on Netflix. The streaming giant ordered two sequels last year in a massive $450 million production deal.

Looking for more gumshoe work in the meantime? All seasons of Columbo and Murder She Wrote are now streaming on Peacock. You can also check out all five seasons of the original Quantum Leap with Scott Bakula, as well as the 2022 NBC revival, which was recently picked up for a new season.