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NBC/Warner Bros. Television Matt Leblanc to star in a new comedy spin-off of the Emmy Award Winning "Friends" for 2004-05

July 26, 2003

NBC and Warner Bros. Television proudly announce that two-time Emmy award nominee Matt LeBlanc will star as Joey Tribbiani in a new series to debut in the fall of 2004 on Thursday nights at 8:00 P.M. “Friends” Executive Producers Kevin Bright , Scott Silveri and Shana Goldberg-Meehan will continue as Executive Producers on the new series, “Joey.” In addition, the new deal calls for LeBlanc to star in two feature films for Warner Bros. Pictures.

“I’m pleased to say that NBC’s wonderful relationship with such a once-in-a-decade series as ‘Friends’ will continue,” said Zucker. “Matt’s lovable character of Joey Tribbiani has come into his own in recent years on the series and Joey’s progression will continue as he emerges more on his own -- we know that everyone will be rooting for him.”

“We are thrilled that Matt is onboard to star in the ‘Friends’ spin-off,” said Roth. “His dynamic portrayal of Joey Tribbiani is one of the most memorable in recent years. Matt is a tremendous talent, and we look forward with great anticipation to working closely with him on the new series.”

Regarding the executive producers, Roth stated “This spin-off would not be possible without the participation of our ‘Friends’ producers. Scott and Shana are an integral part of this project. They assure us the continuity and quality of writing that we have become accustomed to on ‘Friends.’ Kevin is a gifted producer whose contributions to ‘Friends’ are innumerable. We are delighted that he agreed to be a part of the team.”

“Friends” won an Emmy as Outstanding Comedy Series last year and is nominated for 11 more Emmys this year. The series has been the number-one scripted series on television among adults 18-49 during each of the past two seasons and has been the number-one comedy for each of the last five seasons. This past season, "Friends" led its time period in all key categories, with a towering 58 percent margin over second place in 18-49. During the 2002-03 season, "Friends" averaged a 10.4 rating, 28 share among adults 18-49 and 21.8 million viewers overall.

Entertainment Weekly recently lauded LeBlanc as “a rarity - a hunk with a gift for deadpan comedy,” for his role as one of America’s favorite “Friends.”

Matt received Emmy nominations in 2002 and 2003 for his work on “Friends.” He also received nominations for a People’s Choice Award and a Golden Globe Award.

Matt most recently appeared on the big screen in “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” reprising his role from the 2000 blockbuster, “Charlie’s Angels.” He also starred in “Lost in Space.”