Chris O’Dowd has signed on to star in Big Door Prize, a new comedy series that’s in the works at Apple TV+ from Schitt’s Creek writer and executive producer David West Read, who will also serve as showrunner. The limited series will run for 10-episodes and will pull much of its storyline from the novel of the same name by M.O. Walsh.
The show will revolve around a small town named Deerfield. The usually mundane lives of its residents change when a mystical and bizarre machine materialises at the local grocery store, disclosing each person’s true potential in life, and the townspeople spiral into the question of whether to stay in their comfortable lives or to follow these new paths.
O’Dowd will play Dusty, a friendly, well-liked teacher who is overwhelmed by the day-to-day mundanity of his life and wondering if he has been playing it too safe. When the machine reveals his true purpose, the teacher and family man must dig deep to figure out if he is really happy, or just simply stuck going through the motions.
O’Dowd has a long history of success on television, first breaking out as one of the leads in The I.T. Crowd before starring in shows such as Get Shorty, State Of The Union (which won him an Emmy), and Moone Boy, which he also created, wrote, directed, and produced. He’s always been a very likable screen presence and should be a great fit for this role.
Read also won an Emmy for working on Schitt’s Creek, which became a major hit after a slow first few seasons. Apple’s first breakout show has been Ted Lasso, but they’ll need more to compete with the likes of Netflix. They will be crossing their fingers that Big Door Prize can be that show.
O’Dowd was last seen in Netflix film The Starling earlier this year, and currently has fantasy adventure Slumberland in post-production.