Actor Matt LeBlanc of “Friends” fame is coming to CBS with the new comedy, “Man with a Plan.” He stars as Adam Burns, a dad who spends more time with his kids when his wife returns to the workforce after 13 years of being a stay-at-home mom.
“I wanted to kind of wet my whistle for going back to work, so I wanted to do more. And I really missed the sort of sitcom format in front of a live audience like when we did ‘Friends.’ It was just so fun. And it’s chronological storytelling, like theater, if you will,” LeBlanc said Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”
LeBlanc, who also serves as executive producer on the series, said he saw eye-to-eye with writers and show creators Jack and Jackie Filgo on the idea of the series.
“I’m not getting any younger, and I’ve never played a dad, and I am a dad, and I’ve never played a guy in a relationship, so I thought this was the time to sort of make that next step,” LeBlanc said.
When his on-screen wife, played by Liza Snyder, returns to work, LeBlanc’s character takes on more parental duties.
“I was only there after I got home from work, and the kids were all sort of cleaned up from school and on their best behavior when dad gets home. And now I get to see sort of behind the curtain, if you will, like the Wizard of Oz,” LeBlanc said. “You see behind the curtain, you see the real part of how awful it is to be a parent sometimes.”
Asked why he thinks “Friends” has such a lasting legacy, LeBlanc said it had to do with the “broad demographic” of the characters.
“There were six individuals that represented six very different types of people, so everyone could sort of identify with -- People would say, ‘Oh, my mother is just like Phoebe.’ Or ‘that’s like me.’ Or ‘my brother’s like that.’ … Which is ironic because, you know the saying, ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ Well, it was birds of absolutely not the same feather on that show,” LeBlanc said.
“It was funny, and it had heart,” LeBlanc added. “Sitcoms that have heart and are funny tend to be, in my opinion, the more favorite ones.”
People still call LeBlanc by his “Friends” name, Joey, “all the time.”
“That’s OK by me. That was 10 years. We were all really proud of it, and it’s not something I try to get away from. It’s just something that will follow me forever. I could think of worse things to be called,” he said, laughing.