Matt LeBlanc Talks Reuniting With ‘Friends’ Co-Star Matthew Perry on CBS
Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry will be back together again this fall on CBS, as the network has staged a “Friends” reunion of sorts, scheduling both of the actor’s shows on the same night.
LeBlanc’s new comedy series “Man With A Plan” debuts this October on CBS Monday nights at 8:30 p.m., while the third season of “Perry’s “Odd Couple” is on Mondays at 9:30 p.m.
“It’s funny because Les Moonves put us together in the first place when he ran Warner Bros., so maybe that’s his plan — maybe he’s the man with the plan!” LeBlanc quipped, speaking of the president and CEO of CBS Corporation who spearheaded “Friends” back in the day.
While CBS has not commented on LeBlanc and Perry’s shows airing on the same night, bringing the two “Friends” stars back together seems like an obvious marketing tool that at the very least will generate social media buzz.
Asked by Variety if he would like to guest star on “Odd Couple” or if he’d like to have Perry come onto “Man With A Plan,” LeBlanc teased the possibility.
“Sure. We’ll see what happens,” LeBlanc said. “My show is set in Pittsburgh and I think his is in New York so it’s not too far away, right? Just a train ride!”
When asked point blank by Variety, “Do you ever get sick of people asking you about ‘Friends?’” LeBlanc replied, “No. It was a big show. I get it. I wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for that show — Why? What do you want to ask me about ‘Friends?’”
It looks like Matt Leblanc is adjusting to his new “Top Gear” role just fine.
BBC America released a new trailer for the rebooted “Top Gear” on Sunday, showing the “Friends” and “Episodes” star struggling to get into the Ariel Nomad.
“A door would’ve been nice,” Leblanc grumbles after he’s finally made his way into the driver’s seat. From there, he embarks on an intense and “fairly dusty” ride through the Moroccan desert.
Sunday’s clip is the second to be released of the new season, following a first trailer in March.
Leblanc will be joined by fellow new host Chris Evans (not the “Captain America” star), as well as German racing star Sabine Schmitz, Formula One commentator Eddie Jordan and journalists Chris Harris and Rory Reid in the next season of the long-running car show.
Previous host Jeremy Clarkson was suspended last year after a physical altercation with producer Oisin Tymon. Other presenters on the show, James May and Richard Hammond, left the show after the BBC didn’t renew Clarkson’s contract.
Leblanc was announced as one of the new hosts of the motoring show in February. It marks the first time in the show’s 39-year history that it’s had a non-British host.
The new season of “Top Gear” debuts in May.
Sad news for Episodes fans, the series will end after season 5.
Matt LeBlanc’s ‘Episodes’ Ending After Season 5 on Showtime
It’s official: “Episodes” will end after its fifth season on Showtime, Variety has learned.
Production on the fifth and final season begins next week in London with the first table read happening tomorrow in the U.K. Season 5 is slated for a 2017 debut and will consist of seven episodes.
The critically acclaimed and award-winning comedy, which paints a behind-the-scenes picture on the entertainment industry, stars “Friends” alum Matt LeBlanc.
Showtime’s confirmation of the final season comes after long-running speculation that the series would end, with LeBlanc tweeting late last year that he has “one more season” to shoot. Fueling the fire of the show’s imminent ending, Showtime’s president of programming Gary Levine told reporters that there is a “real possibility” the show would end after Season 5 this past January at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
“‘Episodes”‘ scathing portrait of network executives has kept me on my best behavior these last several years, for which I am grudgingly grateful to Jeffrey and David,” said Levine. “I love this show and can’t wait to see what comic heights Matt and company will scale during the fifth and final season of our inspired series.”
Co-creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik commented: “We have had the best time making this show. Showtime has been the opposite of every network we write about. If it were up to them we could go on making ‘Episodes’ forever. But we’ve told the story we set out to tell and we’d never want to outstay our welcome.”
In Season 5, LeBlanc is the host of “The Box,” a wildly successful game show. Unfortunately, the world seems to have forgotten he was ever an actor. Meanwhile, Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) are forced to work for Sean’s former partner Tim (Bruce Mackinnon), perhaps the worst showrunner in the history of television. Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins) is out of a job, out of money and possibly out of show business. And Merc (John Pankow), a producer on “The Box,” never resists the opportunity to ruin Matt’s life. Klarik will direct all seven episodes.
“Episodes,” which premiered in 2011, has received 10 Emmy nominations including outstanding lead actor in a comedy for LeBlanc and outstanding writing for Crane and Klarik for every single season the series has been eligible. The industry-insider comedy has also been nominated twice for best series at the Golden Globes with LeBlanc winning the best actor Globe for the first season. Crane and Klarik exec produce “Episodes” with Jimmy Mulville of Hat Trick prods.
For LeBlanc, the long-rumored ending of “Episodes” comes as the “Friends” fan-favorite is eyeing his return to broadcast comedy — CBS greenlit a LeBlanc sitcom pilot with a hefty series commitment, meaning it will likely be ordered for the 2016-17 television season.
Matt LeBlanc takes the wheel in the first trailer for the new, rebooted season of “Top Gear.”
“I’m going to have a good long talk with the wardrobe department … with a stick,” LeBlanc, who dons a starred and striped patriotic helmet that matches his mini car, says in the teaser.
The first-look video includes clips from episodes shot in the U.S., U.K., France, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, and spotlights cars like the Aston Martin Vulcan, Ferrari F12 TDF and Ariel Nomad.
In addition to LeBlanc, the trailer also features fellow new host Chris Evans (not the “Captain America” star), who “feels the heat” while racing a luxury sports car. Formula One commentator Eddie Jordan, German racing champ Sabine Schmitz, and journalists Chris Harris and Rory Reid complete the team for the 23rd season of the hit series.
The sixsome takes over for previous host Jeremy Clarkson, who was suspended after a physical altercation with producer Oisin Tymon. Fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond also left the show after the BBC opted not to renew Clarkson’s contract. Last month, Clarkson settled a racial discrimination and injury claim with Tymon.
The trio is now working on their own motoring show for Amazon Prime, which is set to premiere later this year.
“I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship,” Clarkson said about working with the streaming service.
The new season of “Top Gear” will debut in May on BBC America.
Matt spoke onstage with Courteney Cox to present an award to Marta Kauffman & David Crane during the 2016 Writers Guild West Awards. The awards were held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Los Angeles, California (February 13).
Public Appearances > Appearances from 2016 February 13: Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony
Public Appearances > Appearances from 2016 February 13: Backstage Creations Celebrity Retreat at The Writers Guild Awards
Matt LeBlanc To Star In Jeff & Jackie Filgo CBS Comedy Pilot, James Burrows To Direct
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: This is a monster comedy package that has come together very fast and is looking to become one of the top prospects of Pilot Season 2016. Veteran comedy writers Jeff and Jackie Filgo (That ’70s Show) have been developing two comedy scripts at CBS through CBS TV Studios this season, but they also wrote a third on spec. It was that one that got everyone at CBS TV Studios and sister network buzzing. The script quickly got the attention of Friends alum Matt LeBlanc, who had been heavily pursued by TV studios as he is heading into what is fully expected to be the final season of his Showtime showbiz comedy series Episodes. With him interested in starring, the CBS Studios script also attracted top multi-camera director James Burrows. Not all deals are being hammered out but I’ve learned that the project is getting a pilot order at CBS. Additionally, I hear the pact includes a 13-episode guarantee to LeBlanc, indicating that the network is high on the project for a potential series order. (CBS called that a series commitment to LeBlanc.)
The comedy, titled I’m Not Your Friend, stars LeBlanc as a contractor who learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife goes back to work. LeBlanc is executive producing with Jeff and Jackie Filgo and 3 Arts Entertainment’s Michael Rotenberg and Troy Zien.
The CBS comedy series will be in addition to LeBlanc’s recently announced co-hosting duties on Top Gear.
LeBlanc, who won a Golden Globe and earned four Emmy nominations for playing a version of himself on Showtime’s praised comedy Episodes, is looking to join fellow Friends star Matthew Perry who also has a multi-camera comedy series at CBS/CBS Studios, The Odd Couple. The Filgos’ pilot also would reunite LeBlanc with Friends director Burrows.
Showtime has not officially announced that the upcoming fifth season of Episodes, which begins filming in April, will be its last, but the network’s bosses had said that the decision when to end the series was in the hands of creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik who write every single episode. The duo have noted that their story wraps after five seasons. Even if that changes, LeBlanc would be able to do both Episodes and I’m Not Your Friend.
LeBlanc and the married Filgos team are repped by WME.
Matt LeBlanc joins Top Gear!
Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for your new Top Gear host… Mr Matt LeBlanc!
Yes, the fastest-ever Star in a Reasonably Priced Car – he famously set an as-yet unbeaten lap time of 1m 42.1s in the Kia cee’d – will join Chris Evans when the new series premieres in May.
“As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter,” said Matt. “What a thrill!”
Chris Evans said of his new TG presenter: “Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas.
“We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year,” he added.
Matt of course, is no stranger to TG screens. After setting that scorching lap time, he reappeared in the following series to test the new Kia cee’d against its predecessor, drove The Stig around in a McLaren MP4-12C, and recently presented the standalone spin-off Top Gear: The Races.
We’ll have more news on additional Top Gear cast members shortly…
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