'Episodes' Creators Preview Season 3 and a More Mature Matt?
When last we left the gang on "Episodes," the Showtime comedy starring "Friends" alum Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc (or rather, a very exaggerated version thereof), Matt had gotten beaten up by his network boss, Merc, whose blind wife is having an affair with Matt.
"Pucks" — the show-within-the-show on which Matt stars — continued to perform poorly in the ratings, but showrunners Beverly and Sean (marrieds who split up when she had an affair with his BFF ... Matt) had gotten back together. So, when Season 3 of the hit comedy — LeBlanc won his first Golden Globe for the show's debut season — returns to the cable network on January 12 ...
Well, we'll let series creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, the real-life couple who've earned two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing on "Episodes," spill the details, as they did during a chat with Yahoo TV this week.
So Beverly and Sean are back together. Where do we start off with everyone else at the beginning of Season 3?
Jeffrey Klarik: First of all, we're waiting to see if Carol will replace Merc [John Pankow]. That's the way it sounded at the end of the second season. It looked as if [network head] Elliot Salad [Michael Brandon] had kind of offered her the job. Even though she turned it down, now that she's clearly on the outs with Merc ... the only reason she turned it down was because she didn't want to hurt Merc. Now she doesn't have to worry about that. Will she, in fact, throw her hat back in the ring? Will she get that job?
And what can you reveal about this new character played by Chris Diamantopoulos ("Three Stooges")?
JK: He's going to complicate things for Carol.
David Crane: We don't want to give too much away.
JK: Right, but he's going to come into the picture and sort of complicate things for Carol.
DC: On a lot of levels.
He's so underrated. Did you write the character for him?
JK: No, no. We wrote the character [first]. We looked at many, many people. He actually didn't even come in to read. He sent us a tape, and we just looked at each other and said, "Oh my God." That's exactly what we were picturing. Wait until you see. He does such great work. He's so good and funny and dark.
And what about Merc? He was fired, but he's not out of the picture, is he?
DC: No, no, no, Merc won't go away quietly. That's for sure.
JK: First of all, he wants to get Jamie back, because it's going to cost him half his money. He's in there fighting for Jamie [Genevieve O'Reilly], and he is still so angry at Matt. All that male pride. Even though he dislocated Matt's shoulder at the end of the second season, that's not enough. He wants to destroy him.
Merc must feel like the gift that keeps on giving, as writers.
JK: He does. Now, we've spent two seasons with him in a position of power. It was so much fun to explore what happens to those guys when they lose that power. One of the fun things this season is that Merc is forced to come back to the network to pitch some story ideas. Part of his exit package was that he was going to be able to get a show on the network. So he has to come back and pitch to Myra [Daisy Haggard] and Carol and Andy [Joseph May].