Matt LeBlanc tries his hand at meta-comedy


Matt LeBlanc, after living in Hollywood exile the last three years, is set to star in “Episodes,” a new comedy co-produced by the BBC and Showtime.

Matt LeBlanc is reteaming with “Friends” co-creator David Crane for “Episodes,” a Showtime/BBC comedy series spoofing the TV business.

Showtime has ordered six half-hour episode of the series, which Crane created with Jeffrey Klarik, for a 2010 premiere on Showtime and BBC Two.

“Episodes,” which will start production in January in London and Los Angeles, centers on a successful British husband-and-wife comedy team thrilled by the prospect of producing an U.S. version of their hit series. But they are soon forced to replace the erudite British lead in the original with the quintessential U.S. comedy star, Matt LeBlanc, who will be playing a version of himself. They sink deeper into the quicksand that is the Hollywood TV business, ruled by a legion of network and studio executives.

Sounds like a mixture between “The Comeback” (which starred Lisa Kudrow from “Friends), “Entourage,” and “Extras.” Since shows about shows and comedies about comedies are in at the moment, “Episodes” might have a chance. The premise sounds mildly interesting, but this will also be a test of LeBlanc’s star power. Do American (and British) audiences still have a soft spot for the guy that played “Joey Tribbiani.” They might, but it will also take a strong and hilarious supporting cast to keep viewers coming back.


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