12:14pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Episodes'' Matt LeBlanc Offers 5 Things to Know About Season 2
Season 2 of Showtime's critical darling Episodes returns Sunday for what will be a bigger season with a nine-episode run that will see Matt LeBlanc further explore his fictional alter-ego's back story and attempt to make amends with both Sean and Beverly.
Following his romp with his Pucks co-showrunner Beverly (Tamsin Greig), her marriage and Matt's friendship with Sean (Stephen Mangan) are both on the rocks when the second season of the dramedy returns four months after the six-episode freshman season ended. Now, Pucks -- the ridiculous hockey show within the show -- is about to premiere, much to Beverly's chagrin, as the formerly tight trio are headed in opposite directions in their respective personal lives.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Golden Globe winner LeBlanc at Showtime's premiere party in Hollywood to get the scoop on what's new for Season 2 and has five things to know about the dramedy.
1. It's bigger -- and deeper. "The first season of a show you have a lot of exposition, a lot of pipe to lay, if you will," LeBlanc tells THR. "With that work behind us, there's more room to elaborate on the characters and some of the support characters have a lot more to do." Expanding from six to nine episodes this season, Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins tells THR he wanted 12 episodes but the BBC2 co-production couldn't swing it. As part of the larger feel, there will be a greater focus on supporting players including beleaguered network boss Merc Lapidus (John Pankow), his blind wife Jamie (Genevieve O'Reilly) and his amazing assistant, Carol (Kathleen Rose Perkins). "There's more room to elaborate on the characters and some of the supporting characters have a lot more to do," LeBlanc says. "It feels like a 45-minute episode; they're fuller. It affords us the luxury of digging a little deeper into all these characters."
2. More back story for LeBlanc's fictional version of himself. Last season, viewers caught a glimpse of Matt's tortured personal life and custody battle for his kids. This year, LeBlanc says, Matt is "stopped in his tracks" and accountable for his actions for "maybe the first time in his life." "There's a difference device to get to my family this year that the writers used -- there's a stalker this season and you see my family as a result of that," he reveals. "When you're a single parent the schedule sometimes you want has to bend and change and we play with that a little bit as well."
3. There will be a time jump. Four months will have past from when the first season ended. In that duration, Sean has moved out of his luxurious home with Beverly and into a bachelor pad and Pucks is already in production -- and about to premiere. How the show fares in its premiere will be a surprise to everyone, especially the cynical Beverly, who couldn't wait to leave L.A. last season.
4. There will be fallout from his fling with Beverly. After their post-car crash romp brought the duo onto the same page, Matt and Beverly are now fighting together instead of against one another -- for Sean's affection. "They're both ousted by Sean so they're both on the same side of the task of getting back in his good graces," he says. "It's all very professional but at the end of the day, it's a very different scenario than it was last year; it's really awkward and everybody hurts."
5. So how will it all come together? "It ends in reconciliation and it may not be who you think," LeBlanc teases with a smirk.
Episodes Season 2 premieres Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on Showtime; watch the premiere, below.