It sounds like a match made in television detective heaven. Natasha Lyonne is channeling the quirky crime-solving Columbo as played by Peter Falk and the gritty “NYPD Blue” detective Andy Sipowicz brought to life by Dennis Franz for her character in “Poker Face.” How those characters influenced Lyonne can be seen when the 10-part series debuts Jan. 26 on the streaming service Peacock.

Lyonne plays Charlie Cale, a woman on the run who has the unusual ability to determine when someone is telling a lie. She encounters in each episode a new cast of characters and strange crimes that she reluctantly helps to solve. 

“I would love to go on ‘Finding Your Roots’ and discover that Peter Falk was some sort of deep, distant relation,” Lyonne says.

“Poker Face” is the first television series created by Rian Johnson, the man behind the successful films “Knives Out” and “The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” His influence for the series were all of the television shows he watched while growing up – “Columbo,” “Magnum P.I.,” “The Rockford Files” and “Quantum Leap.” He liked how those series introduced a new mystery each week.

All of those programs share one quality – they are built around a very distinct and memorable character. He knew the only way “Poker Face” would work is to feature such a central figure.

“‘Columbo’ or ‘Rockford Files,’ as much as those shows are mysteries, what really brings you back each week is you want to hang out with the main character.  They’re really ‘hang out’ shows,” Johnson says. “When I saw Natasha in ‘Russian Doll,’ I thought here is somebody who has the presence and the charisma on the screen that I would just want to come back and be with her every week and see her win.”

Johnson takes on the task of being the creator, writer and director of the original series with very little television experience. He directed episodes of “Terriers” and “Breaking Bad” but this is the biggest TV challenge for him to date.

The transition was smooth for Johnson as he fell in love with the quicker pace of television. The fact the series will feature a new location and cast each week (except for Lyonne) made Johnson look at the process as making 10 little movies.

He knows movies. Johnson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for “Knives Out,” which earned more than $300 million worldwide. His other recent credits include “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Looper.” 

Lyonne, who is an executive producer on “Poker Face,” earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her work on “Russian Doll.” She recently executive produced and directed “Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine” and can be seen in “United Stated vs Billie Holiday.” 

Lyonne found it very easy to take on the role of the wise-cracking, highway-traveling human lie detector for the streaming service series.

“Innately, I’m sort of somebody who has a pretty quick read on people, something you might call street smarts, I guess.  But certainly it would be more fun to have it in the way that Charlie does. Mine is, I guess, just intuitive,” Lyonne says. “I think what’s so fun about the way Rian has crafted it, is it’s sort of just enough that it kind of gets her in through the door, but it’s not a superpower.

“She has to go about solving that sort of suspicion and following that thread all the way through in a very human, practical way that’s much more just a puzzle than it is a power.”

What Lyone loves so much about playing Cale is that she really cares about finding the truth. That is something with which he can relate to on a very personal level.

There is a downside to being part of the program for Lyonne. She finds the 1969 Plymouth Barracuda that Cale drives is in dire need of mechanical work. Neither the windshield wipers nor the brakes work properly.

Lyonne jokes that if a second season of “Poker Face” is ordered Cale will trade the Barracuda for a 1992 Honda.

Guest stars for the first season of “Poker Face” include Adrien Brody, Angel Desai, Audrey Corsa, Brandon Michael Hall, Cherry Jones, Chloë Sevigny, Clea DuVall, Ellen Barkin Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Judith Light, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson and Tim Meadows and Benjamin Bratt.

The reason so many actors agreed to be a part of “Poker Face,” as Bratt sees it, comes down to Johnson.

“I think actors love working with Rian because the architecture of what he writes is flawless, but he also is very specific about giving each character their own voice and, more importantly almost, in my frame of mind, their moment within the story,” Bratt says. “So it’s no surprise that actors at the caliber that he put together with Natasha enthusiastically showed up to play.”