Church to costar with LeBlanc in ‘Episodes’

Emmy winner cast in Showtime comedy

Thomas Haden Church has been cast as a larger-than-life TV executive in Showtime’s new comedy “Episodes.”

Skein stars “Friends” thesp Matt LeBlanc, who plays a parody of himself. Single-camera series is a Showtime-BBC co-production about a U.K. couple whose laffer is repurposed into a dumbed-down American sitcom.

Cabler has ordered seven episodes, and Church, whose character Merc buys a hit Brit show and ruins it when giving it a Yank translation, is scheduled to appear in six.

Church appeared as the villain in the most recent “Spider-Man” pic and was Oscar-nominated in 2005 for his turn as Paul Giamatti’s best friend in “Sideways.” On the TV side, he won a supporting actor Emmy co-starring with Robert Duvall in the AMC miniseries “Broken Trail.”

David Crane (“Friends”) and Jeffrey Klarik created the series and will exec produce with Jimmy Mulville through his Hat Trick shingle.

Shooting begins in mid-May in Los Angeles and London. A launch date has not yet been determined, but the show will air on both Showtime and BBC2.

Church joins Claire Forlani, Kathleen Rose Perkins and Stephen Mangan, who were recently announced to the cast.

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