September 30, 2009

Matt LeBlanc lands Showtime comedy series

U.S. actor Matt LeBlanc, best known for his work on the sit-com Friends and its spinoff Joey, is set to star in a new comedy series, Showtime announced.

The cable television network said it has ordered six installments of Episodes, a Showtime and BBC co-production described as a single-camera comedy-within-a-comedy about the television industry.

The series was created by David Crane, who has worked on Friends and The Class, and Jeffrey Klarik, whose credits include The Class and Mad About You. It will begin shooting in London and Hollywood this winter for a 2010 debut on Showtime and BBC Two.

Episodes is about a British couple whose hit U.K. show is turned into a dumbed-down American sit-com starring LeBlanc as himself.

Robert Greenblatt, Showtime president of entertainment, announced the series Wednesday.

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, Greenblatt said in a statement. We jumped at the chance to get involved with this cockeyed 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.

Jeffrey and David have a great idea -- I love it, said LeBlanc. I am really excited to be working with Showtime and the BBC. And I am so glad I got the part; seeing someone else play Matt LeBlanc would have been devastating.

The casting of the British couple has not been announced.