Five '90s Stars Coming Back Big in 2011


Matthew Perry

The name is not Chandler Bing. In February, "Friends" alum Matthew Perry will return to the small screen with ABC's "Mr. Sunshine," in which he plays the manager of a San Diego sports arena who starts to question his life after hitting 40. It's the second time Perry has tried to revive his TV career since the seminal '90s sitcom went off the air (in 2006 and 2007, he starred in the critically acclaimed but short-lived "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"). While the "Mr. Sunshine" trailer shows Perry reprising the jumpy, goofy personality of his famous alter-ego, he wants to develop a new character. "I don't think people want to see a character that's night-and-day different than Chandler, but we want to try to do some different things," Perry said last August at a Q&A panel about the show.

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc

Fellow "Friend" Matt LeBlanc will also try to jump-start his career, which has been idling since Central Perk shuttered its doors. His new show "Episodes" debuted Saturday on Showtime. In it, he plays an arrogant version of himself -- a Hollywood actor starring in an American adaptation of a British sitcom, trying to mesh with husband-and-wife TV producer couple from across the pond.

Like his "Episodes" character, LeBlanc needs a hit. After playing high-energy, low-intelligence Joey Tribbiani for 12 years -- 10 on friends, two on the laughable spinoff, "Joey" -- LeBlanc's most notable project until now was a movie that cast him alongside a baseball-playing chimpanzee. He hopes to have a hit on his hands with his latest venture. "I've said no to everything over the last four years," he recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "I didn't want to go back to work."

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