What the hell happened to Matt LeBlanc, anyway? Ten years on “Friends,” two years on the hortastic “Joey,” and then: Poof. Dude disappeared. And it’s not like he was the least talented “Friend” (that would be David Schwimmer), although it was a little annoying how most of the “Friends” characters morphed into a variation of dumb Joey by the end of the series.
Anyway, Matt LeBlanc is back, and he’s perfectly cast in what looks to be a fairly excellent idea for a sitcom. Showtime and BBC are partnering up for a show called “Episodes.” It’s about two British producers who decide to adapt their successful British sitcom for American television, only to see it get dumbed down for American audiences. Matt LeBlanc, appropriately, would play a fictional version of himself, as an actor in the dumbed-down version of the American show.
It’s meta-cool, although the idea is very similar to what Ricky Gervais did in “Extras,” without the American component, and like “Extras,” this will be a look behind the scenes of behind the scenes of a television show, and if it gets too cute with itself, the heads of American viewers — hoping just to see Joey eat a sandwich — may explode. That’s just kind of a bonus, though.
Six episodes have been ordered and set to debut on both BBC and Showtime in 2010.