Episodes

Filming has begun on Episodes, a prime-time seven-part comedy series for BBC Two from the highly acclaimed writing partnership of David Crane (Friends) and Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You), produced by Hat Trick Productions for Showtime (Nurse Jackie, The Tudors) and the BBC, for transmission later this year in both America and the UK.

Episodes is the story of a happily married English couple, Sean and Beverly Lincoln who also happen to be successful producers of a hit British TV show called Lyman’s Boys. At an awards ceremony in London they are wooed by a hugely powerful and charismatic US network executive who persuades them to move out to LA and remake their hit show for an American audience – with disastrous results.

Things begin to unravel at Sean and Beverly’s first studio meeting. It soon becomes clear that the network president has never even seen their show. To make matters worse, he insists they replace their lead actor, an erudite Royal Shakespeare veteran played by Richard Griffiths with Matt LeBlanc. Sean and Beverly are appalled. But the decision is out of their hands. Matt comes on board and they find themselves in a complicated triangle, which threatens to destroy not just their TV show but their marriage too.

The quintessential US comedy star Matt LeBlanc is playing a larger than life version of himself. Joining him are Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Love Soup, Shaun Of The Dead), Stephen Mangan (Free Agents, Never Better, Green Wing), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Without A Trace, Tell Me You Love Me), Mircea Monroe (Scrubs, Without A Trace), Daisy Haggard (Psychoville, Sense And Sensibility) and Richard Griffiths (The History Boys, Withnail And I).

Jimmy Mulville comments: “These are some of the best scripts I’ve read in a long time by two writers at the top of their game. To have the opportunity to make a show with David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, with Matt LeBlanc playing a hilarious version of himself, and then to make that show for both Showtime and the BBC, whose combined portfolios of comedy are second to none, is both a thrill and a great privilege. Episodes promises to be one of the great comedy treats of 2010.”

David and Jeffrey add: “For the two of us to be doing a show with Matt again is a dream come true. Add to that the chance to work with talents of the calibre of Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan? Well, it doesn’t get better than that.”

The series was commissioned by BBC Comedy and Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, who says: “I’m delighted that Matt LeBlanc will be starring in an original comedy for BBC Two, and to be working with Showtime and Hat Trick on such a unique format.”

Cheryl Taylor, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, says: “The quality of the scripts from David and Jeffrey is equalled only by the pedigree of the cast and we can’t wait to see Episodes on BBC Two.”

Matt LeBlanc adds: “Jeffrey and David have a great idea – I love it. I am really excited to be working with Showtime and the BBC. And I am also so glad I got the part; seeing someone else playing Matt LeBlanc would have been devastating.”

The series is being produced by David Crane, Jeffrey Klarik and Jimmy Mulville with Simon Wilson as Executive Producer for the BBC. James Griffiths (Free Agents) directs.

English actor Richard Griffiths has been locked in to appear on Matt LeBlanc’s new show Episodes.

62-year-old Griffiths will play a version of himself in the show which  centres on a British couple whose TV show is turned into a horrible American remake.

The Hollywood Reporter is claiming Griffiths’ character will be “too sophisticated” to star in the American remake and will be replaced by LeBlanc.

Episodes was forced to look for two news stars after Thomas Haden Church and Claire Forlani dropped out of the project which is currently in production.

Griffiths has appeared in the likes of the Harry Potter films, The History Boys and Adam Sandler comedy Bedtime Stories.

Source: Digital Spy

 

Two major cast members of Matt LeBlanc’s new show Episodes have quit.

Thomas Haden Church and Claire Forlani have left the BBC/Showtime project which centres on LeBlanc as a parody of himself in a bad remake of a British show.

Forlani was said to play one of the lead roles but has since been replaced by Tamsin Greig who has starred previously in Black Books and Green Wing alongside Stephen Mangan, who is also on board.

Haden Church is reported to have left the show due to scheduling conflicts.

Episodes is created by Friends co-creator David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik whose credits include sitcom Mad About You.

Seven episodes of the show have been ordered and which is currently in pre-production in London.

Source: Digital Spy

Check out a preview video of the show here:

 

The BBC, Hat Trick Productions and Showtime announced today the commission of Episodes, a six-part series from the highly acclaimed writing partnership of David Crane (Friends) and Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You), for transmission next year on BBC Two.

Episodes is the story of a British couple who try to recreate their UK comedy hit for American TV with disastrous results, and features Matt LeBlanc playing himself.

Jimmy Mulville of Hat Trick Productions comments: “These are some of the best scripts I’ve read in a long time by two writers at the top of their game. To have the opportunity to make a show with David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, with Matt LeBlanc playing a hilarious version of himself, and then to make that show for both Showtime and the BBC, whose combined portfolios of comedy are second to none, is both a thrill and a great privilege. Episodes promises to be one of the great comedy treats for 2010.”

The series was commissioned by BBC Comedy and Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, who says: “I’m delighted that Matt LeBlanc will be starring in an original comedy for BBC Two, and to be working with Showtime and Hat Trick on such a unique format.”

Matt LeBlanc adds: “Jeffrey and David have a great idea – I love it. I am really excited to be working with Showtime and the BBC. And I am also so glad I got the part; seeing someone else playing Matt LeBlanc would have been devastating.”

The series will be produced by David Crane, Jeffrey Klarik and Jimmy Mulville with Simon Wilson as executive producer for the BBC.

Episodes will shoot next year in London and Los Angeles for BBC Two and Showtime.

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