ArtsBeat just posted a rather shocking scoop: Matt LeBlanc is returning to TV as Matt LeBlanc.
The new show, called “Episodes,” will be jointly produced by Showtime and the BBC, the television channels said on Wednesday in a news release, and is created by David Crane (a co-creator of “Friends”) and Jeffrey Klarik. It will focus on a British couple whose hit comedy is reworked for American television in a watered-down version starring Mr. LeBlanc.
While there’s one huge thing that suggests this is a horrible idea (“Joey”; Crane was a writer, but did not produce), there are a few things working in the show’s favor. Namely, it’s not airing on NBC, which hasn’t done well with their real-life imports, let alone meta ones. (The Office doesn’t count. Ricky Gervais can make anything work, except for Ghost Town.) On the flip side, Showtime has had a lot of luck with series with unlikely premises that sound way lamer than this on paper (Weeds, Californication, United States of Tara). Those incessant Friends movie rumors won’t hurt either.
Showtime President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt’s official statement: “What a thrill to have two giants of the comedy world like Klarik and Crane to satirize what they know best: the making (or un-making) of art. We jumped at the chance to get involved with this cock-eyed look at network television told through the eyes of unsuspecting British producers who don’t know what hit them when they enter the lion’s den of Hollywood. And Matt LeBlanc — wryly sending up his own image — is icing on the cake.”
Huh. So what do you think? Is this show something you’d watch? Can the same man who starred in Ed handle it? He’s no Larry David. Maybe they should have asked Matthew Perry instead.