Showtime's "Episodes"

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It’s been eight years since Matt LeBlanc got the last of his three Emmy nominations for his work on “Friends,” so it’s a little surreal for him to be back in the running on a new show, Showtime’s “Episodes.”

“‘Friends’ was this rocket-ship ride for 10 years, so to take five years off and be back with this little cable show–it’s cool,” he said.

Which isn’t to say it’s any less gratifying for LeBlanc, who admits to feeling a sense of validation that his peers are recognizing in a very different role than the thickheaded Joey Tribbiani. And for that he gives tremendous credit to the “Episodes” writers. “Everything was there on the page,” he said. “Not once did it feel like work.”

LeBlanc will be going back to work for a second season of “Episodes,” which begins shooting in London in early November.

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