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October 8, 2015

TV Comeback Hopefuls Include Matt LeBlanc, Andie MacDowell and More

by Jane Murphy, posted Sep 4th 2010 2:00PM
Looking over the cast lists of TV shows airing this coming season, you'll find a lot of familiar names that have been lying low of late.

Some are returning just before becoming a "whatever happened to ..."; others seem to be virtually emerging from witness protection. And we're not talking 'I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here,' either. These comeback stories are lined up with some of the hottest projects headed our way.

Matt LeBlanc
The 'Friends' spinoff 'Joey' was primetime's highest profile flop of the '00s (OK, maybe it was 'The XFL'). Now we find LeBlanc thousands of miles away from Hollywood, but that might be a very good thing.

In January, he'll be seen in the Showtime comedy 'Episodes', a co-production of the BBC. Set in London and Los Angeles, it stars LeBlanc as an actor named "Matt LeBlanc". The premise is simply hilarious: the UK-based writers of a new TV series create a show about a portly, curmudgeonly Brit – and network executives insist Matt LeBlanc step into the lead. Below, LeBlanc is interviewed during Wimbledon about his latest project.

Wes Bentley
In HBO's eagerly anticipated 'Tilda', Diane Keaton plays a Hollywood blogger with all the scoops. Not so long ago, 'Tilda' co-star Wes Bentley had blogs buzzing for all the wrong reasons. Beset by personal problems and making B-movies, the 'American Beauty' star had everyone wondering about his career trajectory. Recently making a mark on the New York stage, his career rehab is well underway. On 'Tilda' – in production this summer -- Bentley will bestow cougar status on Keaton as her love interest.

Joanne Whalley
A career with some great film performances (rent 'Scandal' -- at left -- and 'The Secret Rapture' right this minute!) has been somewhat overshadowed by her previous marriage to Val Kilmer. While her ex Kilmer is apologizing for making disparaging remarks about the state of New Mexico, Whalley is filming a welcome return to the small screen with 'The Borgias' next year on Showtime. Set in the 15th century, 'The Borgias' stars Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons.

'The Borgias' trailer

Nick Nolte
With such long odds for anything to succeed on TV, naming a show 'Luck' is pushing it. But HBO's series about gambling will have a must-see factor built in: it is Nick Nolte's first small screen role in over 30 years. Fans have been looking for Nolte to do something in this millennium that would bury the image of his wild-haired mug shot (awww, just Google it). Let's hope he hits paydirt with David ('Deadwood') Milch's 2011 cable effort.

Andie MacDowell
Speaking of the last millennium, one of its biggest stars is back. MacDowell – somewhat under the radar of late with indie feature work -- is giving series TV a try with Fox's 'Lone Star'. She'll play a glamorous art appraiser who piques the interest of the local oil baron (played by Jon Voight). Catch 'Lone Star's first episode Sept. 20.

'Lone Star' trailer

Casey Wilson
One of two actresses dumped from 'Saturday Night Live' last year, the comic and screenwriter ('Bride Wars') is picking herself up with ABC's mid-season comedy 'Happy Endings.' (For the record, fellow pink-slip recipient Michaela Watkins bounced back from 'SNL' as a regular on 'The New Adventures of Old Christine,' though that show was canceled.). In a preview below, Casey's 'Happy' character has a hot date nearly upended by chatty pals.

'Happy Endings'

Whose comeback are you looking forward to? Share your thoughts in comments.

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