Matthew Perry is headed back to the small screen in NBC’s “Go On,” where he’ll play sportscaster Ryan King, who’s learning to cope with the recent death of his wife through an employer-mandated grief counseling program.
NBC is giving fans a sneak peek of the show on Wednesday night, premiering the first episode immediately following the Olympics (the show will then return for what will become its normal night on Tuesday, September 11), and the former “Friends” star is hoping Olympic viewers will keep their TVs on and tune in.
“[It’s] the entire episode, so we’re very excited,” Matthew told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman of the pre-season preview, during a visit to the “Go On” set in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “I think, what, 50 million people are watching the Olympics?
“So, we’ll probably get 47, 48 million people, right?” he jokingly added.
While the actor has high hopes for his new comedy (created by former “Friends” co-showrunner Scott Silveri), he’s also keenly aware the days of a “Friends”-sized TV audience are a thing of the past.
“Not a chance. We don’t have any chance,” he said, when asked if he thinks the show will earn ratings in the ballpark of “Friends,” which earned a record 52.5 million viewers for its series finale in 2004.
“Maybe [when we air] after the Olympics, but then it’s all downhill!” he joked.
The 43-year-old star said the mega success of the ‘90s sitcom was partially due to its airing during a simpler era, when shows weren’t readily available to watch online.
“At this stage, you just hope that you’re doing something good that people want to watch, because back then there was barely any cable, no computers and no cell phones, no televisions, no cars and no warm food,” he said with a laugh. “So, it’s a much different time.”
One major perk for Matthew on “Go On” — his sportscaster character allows for real life athletes to make cameos on the show (Terrell Owens will appear in the premiere on Wednesday), and the actor is already gunning for more stars – including NHL star Anze Kopitar of the Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings.
As for football, Matthew has his eye on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for a guest spot.
“I would like to have Tom Brady come on,” he said. “But, I don’t like the idea of somebody just way more attractive than me and being so good at football. So maybe not.”
Check out the sneak peek of “Go On” – tonight at 11:05 PM (immediately following the 2012 London Olympics) on NBC.