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.