Episodes (TV series)
|Created by||David Crane
|Written by||David Crane
|Directed by||James Griffiths
Jim Field Smith
Kathleen Rose Perkins
|Country of origin||United Kingdom
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||16 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||David Crane
|Camera setup||Single camera|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hat Trick Productions
|Original channel||Showtime (US)
BBC Two/BBC HD (UK)
|Original run||January 9, 2011– present|
Episodes is a British/American television sitcom created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and produced by Hat Trick Productions. It premiered on Showtime on January 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm and began airing on BBC Two on 10 January 2011 at 10 pm.
The show is about a British husband-and-wife comedy writing team who travel to Hollywood to remake their successful British TV series, with disastrous results. The series was renewed by Showtime and the BBC for a second season of nine episodes. The show has been sold to 186 broadcasters across the world. In September 2012 it was announced that a third season of nine episodes had been commissioned. It will debut in early 2014.
After happily married couple Sean and Beverly Lincoln win yet another BAFTA Award for their successful British sitcom, Lyman's Boys, they are persuaded to move to Hollywood and remake their series for an American audience. Unfortunately the network starts to make changes, and pressure the couple into casting Matt LeBlanc in the lead role for the sitcom.
A complicated triangle ensues, in which Sean likes Matt, while Beverly is less impressed. With continuing changes to the sitcom it threatens to damage the show, and other pressures result in a rough patch in their marriage.
Main cast 
- Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc
- Stephen Mangan as Sean Lincoln
- Tamsin Greig as Beverly Lincoln
- John Pankow as Merc Lapidus
- Kathleen Rose Perkins as Carol Rance
- Mircea Monroe as Morning Randolph
Recurring cast 
- Genevieve O'Reilly as Jamie Lapidus
- Richard Griffiths as Julian Bullard
- Daisy Haggard as Myra Licht
- Joseph May as Andy Button
- Lou Hirsch as Wallace, the security guard
- James Purefoy as Rob Randolph, Morning's brother
- Fiona Glascott as Diane, Matt's ex-wife
- Sophie Rundle as Labia, Matt's stalker
- Michael Brandon as Elliot Salad, Network head
Development and production 
In May 2010, the BBC announced that seven episodes had been ordered and that filming had begun, with James Griffiths directing. Sean and Beverly Lincoln are played by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig, who previously co-starred in the British sitcom Green Wing (2004–2007).
Beverly was originally to be portrayed by Claire Forlani, but she left the cast in April 2010 when the series was in pre-production. LeBlanc was to play a "larger than life version of himself" as character Matt LeBlanc. Thomas Haden Church was also to have a role in the series as Merc Lapidus, the American television executive who commissions the remake, but he left due to scheduling conflicts, and was replaced by John Pankow.
Although the majority of the show was set in Los Angeles, it was mainly filmed in the UK, including the £35 million mansion Updown Court as the house of Beverley and Sean Lincoln, with inserts shot on location in LA.
The response of the American critics was mixed. Robert Bianco of USA Today called the show "easily the best new sitcom of the season" and The Boston Globe's Matthew Gilbert said that "Each of the season's seven half-hours is a little sliver of pleasure." A Boston Herald review by Mark A. Perigard was lukewarm; he said he feared that the show would never achieve a broad audience and David Wiegand from the San Francisco Chronicle praised the performances of the actors but felt that the series simply was not funny. Alan Sepinwall of HitFix went further declaring the show to be one of the worst TV moments of 2011. The UK critics' response to the first episode was broadly lukewarm while remaining optimistic. More screentime for Matt LeBlanc was eagerly anticipated by some, with The Independent's Brian Viner believing that this might improve the series. The second season received similar reviews to the first season. USA Today said of the show "As smartly written as it is played, Episodes offers the comic pleasures, not just of clashing cultures, but of contrasting comic styles. On one side you have LeBlanc, who handles the big laughs and the broader humor, and does it so well, it serves as a reminder that he was under-appreciated during his years on Friends." On the Firewall & Iceberg podcast Alan Sepinwall and Dan Fienberg commented that the second season of the "self-congratulatory, obvious" show that is "oddly tone-deaf about the business that is was trying to satirize" is "not about anything" and "as a result is better for it", but still "groaningly unfunny".
In the UK, episode one of the series premiered with an audience of 1.86 million, an audience share of 8.5%. Episode two received 1.53 million viewers (7.4%), and by episode four viewing numbers were down to 1.09 million (5.3%). Episode five saw a slight rise in viewers to 1.33 million (6.6%), but numbers once again fell for episode six to 1.12 million (5.5%), and the season ended with the lowest number of viewers, 1.06 million (5.1%), tuning in for the final episode. The second series in the UK began with 1.34 million, audience share of 6.8%, but by episode seven had steadily declined to 0.68 million viewers and an audience share of 3.3%. Like in the US, the UK's reception to the second series was positive with The arts Desk saying "There were some very funny industry-related gags, not least network boss Merc (John Pankow) and his PA-cum-mistress Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins) having sex on his desk while roaring the ratings figures back at one another. The cast are excellent value but at the moment only Greig seems to be playing for genuine emotional stakes. Portraying an exaggerated version of his on-screen persona, LeBlanc’s sweet, sex-obsessed shallowness is all that's required, but Mangan – a terrific comic actor - seems constantly to be toying with a smirk, devaluing some of the emotional currency you sense Episodes is striving for. Together, they’ve proved they can make us laugh."
Awards and nominations 
|2012||Golden Globe Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Matt LeBlanc||Won|
|Best Comedy Series||Episodes||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Matt LeBlanc||Nominated|
|2013||Golden Globe Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Matt LeBlanc||Nominated|
|Best TV Comedy or Musical||Episodes Season 2||Nominated|
Home video releases 
The first season of Episodes has been released by 2 entertain on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom.
|Region 1/A||Region 2/B|
|Season 1||June 12, 2012||February 28, 2011|
|Season 2||July 9, 2012|
- "Press Packs: Episodes". BBC. December 17, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
- "Biggest Sunday Ever on Showtime! Shameless, Episodes & Californication to Premiere January 9th", Showtime press release, September 22, 2010, via FutonCritic.com. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- "BBC Two orders more Episodes". www.atvtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "Episodes gets extended-length 2nd series". British Comedy Guide. March 1, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "'Episodes' sold to 186 countries". Digital Spy. February 16, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
- Eames, Tom (September 13, 2012). "'Episodes' renewed for third season by BBC, Showtime". Digital Spy. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Showtime at TCA: "Episodes" Won't Be Back Until Early 2014". The Futon Critic. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
- "Matt LeBlanc, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig star in David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik's Episodes" (Press release). BBC. May 13, 2010.
- Wightman, Catriona (April 29, 2010). "Church, Forlani quit Matt LeBlanc show". Digitalspy.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
- "LeBlanc's 'brave' move on to British TV", BBC News, 10 January 2011
- "Exciting News:...". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "Guess which show is coming back on 11 May!". BBC Comedy. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Delighted to inform you that #Episodes will be back next year for another 9 part series. Filming starts in the spring.". Twitter. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-09-15.
- Mangan, Stephen (5 April 2013). "@SinJohansen Filming in June". Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- Robert Bianco (January 6, 2011). "Experience great 'Episodes' of laughter, thanks to LeBlanc". USA Today. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Matthew Gilbert (January 7, 2011). "A clever satire about the travails of adaptation". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Mark A. Perigard (January 6, 2011). "Big names, little roles". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- David Wiegand (January 6, 2011). "'Episodes' review: High on ego, low on laughs". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Sepinwall, Alan (Dec 26, 2011). "Lumps of coal: The worst TV I watched in 2011". HitFix.com. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- Sam Wollaston (January 10, 2011). "TV review: Episodes". The Guardian. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Jane Simon (January 10, 2011). "Episodes - BBC2, 10pm". The Mirror. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Keith Watson (January 10, 2011). "Episodes is a sharp and slick take on Britain's inferiority complex". Metro. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Brian Viner (January 11, 2011). "Last Night's TV - Episodes, BBC2; Shameless, Channel 4; Baking Made Easy, BBC2". The Independent. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- "Metacritic: Episodes (US): Season 1".
- "Metacritic: Episodes (US): Season 2".
- Bianco, Robert (June 28, 2012). "Showtime's 'Episodes' mocks TV marvelously –". USA Today. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- "Firewall & Iceberg Podcast Episode 136 - "Episodes" (00:40:10 - 00:53:00)". 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- "Episode 1.1". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- "Episode 1.7". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Episode 2.7". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Graeme Thomson (2012-05-12). "Episodes, Series 2, BBC Two | TV reviews, news & interviews". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- de Moraes, Lisa (December 15, 2011); Matt LeBlanc won the Golden Globe "Golden Globe nominations: ‘New Girl,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ pick up nods". The Washington Post
- "Episodes DVD news: Box Art and Extras for Episodes - The 1st Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "Episodes [DVD]". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- "Episodes - Series Two". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Official website for Showtime
- Episodes at BBC Programmes
- Episodes at the Internet Movie Database
- Episodes at the British Comedy Guide