Inside Move: Penn to join ‘Friends’

Thesp nuzzling into circle in multiple episodes

NBC’s “Friends” has found a new ally in its ratings war with “Survivor”: Sean Penn.

Thesp-helmer, who’s not exactly known for doing light comedy, has agreed to appear in multiple episodes of Warner Bros. Television’s Thursday laffer. He’ll play the boyfriend of Ursula — the twin sister of Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe.

Penn, who’s repped by ICM and Talent Entertainment Group, is expected on the “Friends” set this week. No firm word yet on when his episodes will air, but November sweeps is a likely bet.

The two-time Oscar nominee hasn’t done a guest stint on TV since 1994, when he played himself on both “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Ellen.”

“Friends” has never had much trouble luring big names to its set, wooing everyone from Julia Roberts and Billy Crystal to Bruce Willis and Robin Williams to appear. Last season’s guest list included Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder.

Skein starts its eighth season Sept. 20.

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