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October 31, 2014

episodes

Showtime Picks Up 'Shameless,' 'Episodes' for Season 2

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 28th 2011 3:30PM
William H. Macy, ShamelessCan't get enough of drunken William H. Macy and self-absorbed Matt LeBlanc? Good news: Showtime announced today that it has renewed both 'Shameless' and 'Episodes' for second seasons.

"The viewer loyalty and critical acclaim that has met both 'Shameless' and 'Episodes' since their January debuts makes it clear that these two brash and sophisticated series are burgeoning hits," Showtime President of Entertainment David Nevins said in a statement.

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After Discovering Beverly Cheated, Sean and Matt Get Into an Awkward Fight on 'Episodes' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 21st 2011 5:05AM
Stephen Mangan and Matt LeBlanc, 'Episodes'Last week, Beverly made a horrible judgment call and actually went to bed with Matt LeBlanc. On this week's season finale of 'Episodes' (Sun., 9:30PM ET on Showtime), her husband Sean found out about their tryst.

Sure, she may have done it because she thought Sean had cheated on her, but there are two things wrong with that. One, he hadn't. Two, even if he had, it wouldn't have made it okay.

Sean deduced the truth based on the cinnamon scent of Matt's cologne, a custom scent created based on his 'Friends' character Joey. Beverly smelled of it. Matt smelled of it. And once Sean figured out what had happened, Matt's house began to smell of it as Sean began to hurl bottles at him.

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An Illicit Affair Threatens to Tear Apart Beverly and Sean's Marriage on 'Episodes' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 14th 2011 4:37AM
Tamsin Grieg & Matt LeBlanc, 'Episodes' - 'Episode Six'If you thought the final scene of last week's installment of 'Episodes' was shocking (Sun., 9:30PM ET on Showtime), then you must have been absolutely appalled at the final scene this week. It certainly took Sean's ill-conceived solo session to a whole new level.

In fact, the fallout of that singular action permeated this entire episode. We also finally came full-circle to the car accident that began the premiere episode of the series, the root cause of which is probably the most expected scenario. A British driver getting their countries mixed up and driving on the wrong side of the road.

With filming on the pilot coming to a close, and Beverly already at the edge of her frayed nerves over how their British series has been destroyed in this US adaptation, the last thing she needed was to think her husband was being unfaithful with one of their stars.

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'Episodes': Carol Bonds with Beverly When They Get the Munchies (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Feb 7th 2011 9:10AM
Carol and Beverly Bond on 'Episodes'Carol and Beverly are rarely (if ever) in agreement on 'Episodes' (Sun., 9:30PM ET on SHOW). But once they both get stoned on the set after hours, they're suddenly comrades on a mission to satisfy a major case of the munchies.

Unfortunately, the refrigerator is chained closed. "It's like locusts came through here," whines Beverly while scouring the craft services table. Carol digs in the trash and finds a half-eaten donut. Beverly is skeptical, unless, "[was] anything, uh, touching it?" she asks hopefully. Carol answers, "Just... garbage..." Still, Beverly can't resist.

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Matt LeBlanc Almost Evades the Paparazzi on 'Episodes' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 31st 2011 4:52AM
'Episodes'Beverly and Sean may not have intended to work with a big Hollywood star when they brought their British hit comedy show to the United States, but now they've got one in Matt LeBlanc. And, as seen in the latest 'Episodes' (Sun., 9:30PM on Showtime), dealing with stars means dealing with the paparazzi.

When one of Matt's regular followers is spotted outside the bar they're at together, they develop a plan to get him out.

"How about Matt slips out the back door and gets into our car," Sean suggeseted. "And we try and distract the [photographer]."

It was a great plan, except for one minor detail.

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'Episodes' Co-Creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik on Matt LeBlanc Playing Himself and More

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 28th 2011 2:00PM
'Episodes'There's nothing like interviewing someone who's sitting in a bathroom.

That's exactly what happened when I spoke to Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane, the co-creators of the new Showtime series 'Episodes,' a couple of weeks ago. They had just come off their TCA press tour session, and they were speaking to me from a private room at the tour's hotel. It inspired Klarik to describe why a phone in the bathroom isn't as luxurious a notion as it once was, thanks to cell phones.

"You know, sometimes I'll be talking to my mother, she lives in Florida, and in the middle, I'll hear like tinkling and I'll realize she's talking to me while she's peeing. And I'm like 'Oh gee, Ma!'"

After the fun, we talked about the series, where Tamsin Greig and Stephen Marcum play a British couple whose hit U.K. series is being adapted for a U.S. network, and the show is getting lost in translation. Among the adaptations the network has "suggested"? Matt LeBlanc as the star of the show. We talked about whether LeBlanc was reluctant to play himself, if the executives depicted on the show are accurate, and which show of theirs they wish was still on the air.

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'Episodes' Season 1, Episode 3 Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 24th 2011 2:00AM
Matt LeBlanc and Stephen Mangan in 'Episodes' on Showtime['Episodes' - Season 1 Episode 3]

Tonight is when you see 'Episodes' start to make a turn. It's still not the show it has the potential to be (or the show it is by the end of the season... crap, I promised I wouldn't get ahead of things like that); the characters are still too broad for the most part, and we're still seeing Beverly Lincoln as a shrewish wife who hates everything about Hollywood.

But, in at least a couple of instances, we're starting to see some more human sides to Shaun and Matt. In fact, this episode went a long way in establishing the fact that the 'Episodes' version of Matt LeBlanc knows a hell of a lot more about the business of show than anyone ever thought he would. And it establishes Shaun as a guy who seeme to be both starstruck and pragmatic at the same time.

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'Episodes' Stars Debate U.S. vs. England & Matt LeBlanc vs. Matt LeBlanc (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jan 21st 2011 3:00PM
Showtime's 'Episodes'Maybe it's the accents, or maybe it's the abundance of quality comedies across the pond, but British people are just funnier than us. Deal with it.

Case in point: Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig, both fabulously clever in their own right, and also both completely hysterical on Showtime's 'Episodes' (Sundays, 9:30PM ET). Yes, the show has gotten buzz for 'Friends' alum Matt LeBlanc playing a sensationalized version of himself, but these two have their fair share of standout scenes.

I caught up with Mangan and Greig to talk about the Hollywood punchlines of the show, the perks of the U.S. (grits!) and the difference between the "How you doin'" Matt LeBlanc we see on 'Episodes' and the real Matt LeBlanc ... thankfully there are quite a few.

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'Episodes' Season 1, Episode 2 Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 17th 2011 2:00AM
Matt LeBlanc ignores the Lincolns in 'Episodes' on Showtime['Episodes' - Season 1, Episode 2]

Episode two of 'Episodes' gives us our first good look at Matt LeBlanc, and boy, is he a douchebag.

Of course, I'm talking about the version of LeBlanc from the series, as I have no idea what he's like in real life. But what we're learning about the 'Episodes' LeBlanc is that, just when you think he has the capacity to be smart and charming, he says something that completely makes you want to throttle him, at least if you're Beverly Lincoln.

But what we're also learning about him is that he's been around Hollywood long enough to not let a couple of writers from across the pond get in the way of what he wants.

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'Episodes' Series Premiere Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 9th 2011 11:00PM
Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig as the Lincolns on 'Episodes'['Episodes' - Season 1, Episode 1]

For those of us in the TV-criticism community who are too cheap to spring for premium cable channels, Showtime has been kind enough to send entire chunks of their shows to us in advance. In the case of 'Episodes,' they sent us the entire 7-episode first season in advance a couple of months ago.

Of course, that makes approaching individual episodes difficult, because we've been privy to what goes on for the entire season.

So you have to go on what you felt as you watched a particular episode the first time. As fellow Squadder Mo Ryan mentioned in her review, 'Episodes' starts out slowly, opening with a broad episode that tells you pretty much what you knew about the entertainment business in general, and network television in particular: Anything that's good has the potential to be chipped away by meddling network executives until a mediocre product remains. And the chance of that happening increases exponentially if the original happens to be a beloved British series.

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Five Reasons Why 2011 Could Be the Year of Showtime

by Laura Prudom, posted Jan 7th 2011 4:00PM
William H. MacyOnce upon a time, premium cable was kind of a one-trick pony. HBO was the go-to channel for original, risk-taking programming without the strictures and irritating commercial interruptions of broadcast network TV, and other pay-cable networks just couldn't rival HBO's subscriber base, impressive production budgets or awards season glory.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case, with both basic cable networks (like AMC and FX) and smaller, edgier premium channels (like Showtime and Starz) having stolen the spotlight from their pay-cable granddaddy over the past few years.

This Sunday, Showtime is debuting two of its most buzzworthy new series -- Matt LeBlanc's triumphant return to TV, the single-camera comedy 'Episodes,' and dysfunctional family drama 'Shameless,' starring William H. Macy. And, to sweeten the deal, the network is offering a free preview weekend from Jan. 7 through Jan. 10, so that 60 million homes will have the opportunity to get hooked on the new shows without subscribing. Three excellent reasons to predict that 2011 might be Showtime's strongest year yet; join us after the jump for more!

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Uneven 'Episodes' Put Matt LeBlanc to Good Use, But He Makes Few Friends

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jan 5th 2011 3:00PM
Parts of the first-season finale of 'Episodes' (9:30PM ET Sunday, Showtime) are very funny.

But it takes a long time for 'Episodes,' which chronicles the adventures of an English couple adapting their hit British show for an American network, to get to places that are consistently amusing or emotionally nuanced, despite first-rate work from the show's cast.

Creators Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane, who've written for everything from 'Friends' to 'Mad About You' to 'The Class,' have endured their share of frustrations while they labored in the network sitcom trenches, and 'Episodes,' which stars a sly and skilled Matt LeBlanc as a self-absorbed version of himself, is clearly their revenge on narcissistic actors and an entire army of network suits.

The thing is, if Crane and Klarik were trying to avoid and mock the limitations of traditional sitcoms, why make a comedy that is often obvious and broad? Why create characters that are, for much of the show's seven-episode run, one-dimensional and disposable?

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Talking TV Podcast Takes on 'Episodes,' 'Southland,' 'The Cape,' 'Doctor Who' and More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jan 3rd 2011 12:00PM
Happy New Year! I hope 2011 is treating you right so far.

For those of us covering TV, the new year ushered in one of the busiest mid-seasons in recent memory. A lot of new shows are debuting, many notable shows are returning and Ryan McGee and I tried to cover quite a few of early January's offerings in this week's super-sized Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan podcast.

We gave our impressions of 'V' (and you can find my season 2 review of that ABC show here), 'Southland,' 'Downton Abbey,' 'Bob's Burgers,' 'Shameless,' 'The Cape' and Matt LeBlanc's new Showtime series, 'Episodes.' Just for fun, we also talked a bit about the recent 'Doctor Who' special that aired on Christmas Day.

Please note that in the next few days, I'll be posting full reviews of many of these programs (though not for 'Bob's Burgers' or 'Southland'). Read on for the running times of the various podcast dicussions, and also for news on notable reruns beginning this week.

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Watch Matt LeBlanc in the 'Episodes' Trailer

by Jean Bentley, posted Nov 16th 2010 6:00PM
Matt LeBlanc in 'Episodes'Matt LeBlanc will soon grace our TV screens again, and this time he won't be playing Joey Tribbiani -- he'll be appearing as himself. Sort of.

When 'Episodes' debuts on Showtime in January, the 'Friends' alum will play himself in the series, about a British couple whose popular TV show is remade for American audiences with LeBlanc in the lead.

"It's not really myself. It's a character that David [Crane] and Jeffrey [Klarik] wrote that happens to have the same name as me," he told journalists at the TCA press tour this summer. "There are some similarities, but for the most part it's a fictitious character."

The first 'Episodes' trailer hit the web today, and the series premieres on Jan. 10. Watch it after the jump.

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Matt LeBlanc Talks About Playing Himself on Showtime's 'Episodes' - TCA Report

by Kelly Woo, posted Jul 29th 2010 5:30PM
Matt LeBlancWith the new comedy 'Episodes,' Showtime seemingly has a potential hit a la 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' on its hands. But instead of 'Seinfeld' creator Larry David playing "Larry David," 'Friends' star Matt LeBlanc will be playing "Matt LeBlanc." Sort of.

"It's not really myself. It's a character that David [Crane] and Jeffrey [Klarik] wrote that happens to have the same name as me," he said. "There are some similarities, but for the most part it's a fictitious character."

LeBlanc, Crane, Klarik joined stars Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan, John Pankow, Mircea Monroe and Kathleen Rose Perkins, as well as co-producer John Mulville, to answer questions from TV critics about their new show.

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