We have a few TV notes to end the day on. First up, Matthew Perry, everybody’s favorite “Friend,” (is there really a contest) is returning to television. Perry will star, co-write, and executive produce a single-camera comedy for Sony. So far untitled, the series will be about the self-involved manager of a second-rate sports arena who begins to reevaluate his life on his 40th birthday. Perry turned 40 in August, so hey! He’s perfect for the role. Better news, still, is that he’ll be working with Thomas Schlamme, who worked with Perry on “Friends,” “The West Wing” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” and who is also set to exec-produce and direct. The pitch is going out to networks this week. NBC has nothing better on its slate, so expect it to get snatched up quickly.
Speaking of NBC, they’ve just signed Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant to develop a multi-camera sitcom for NBC, just a couple of months after their “Reno 911” ended its six season run. I don’t think I need to reiterate my distaste for Lennon and Garant, their “The State” affiliations notwithstanding. They’re responsible for some of the absolute worst films of the last few years, including Night at the Museum, The Pacifier, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Let’s Go to Prison, and the deplorable Balls of Fury. I suspect their NBC television show won’t be any better than their recent track record indicates, except that their terrible, weak premises will be stretched out over an entire series instead of just 90 minutes.
Also, over on NBC, Lauren Graham has replaced Maura Tierney in the mid-season replacement “Parenthood,” which actually looks like NBC’s only chance at a big hit this season (unless “Community” picks up a lot of steam over the course of the year.) Tierney, of course, had to drop out after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Truth told, I like both actresses; they’re both excellent on TV. Best wishes to Tierney.
Finally, perhaps to recapper S.P. Ashworth’s displeasure, ABC has picked up the back nine on “Flash Forward.” It seems like a one-season show to me, at best, so I sincerely hope they’re not trying to pin their “Lost” replacement hopes on it. I’ll probably slog through one season to see how it wraps up, but I’m certainly not curious enough about what caused the flash forward and whether the visions actually come to fruition to suffer through more than 22 episodes.