Matthew Perry is returning to NBC with a darker-tinged comedy for the network’s fall schedule, “Go On.”
In the series, Matthew plays Ryan, a sports radio host who — after the death of his wife — is forced to undergo group counseling with an eclectic bunch of individuals. But, the actor said the sportscaster side of his character is being drawn from some of radio’s biggest sports personalities.
“I think we’re sort of basing it on a few people — Rich Eisen, Jim Rome, Colin Cowherd,” Matthew told reporters Tuesday at the NBC portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills.
Matthew said his character is, “sort of a very opinionated sports guy on the radio. He’s successful at his job, but there’s always sort of upward national hopes, potentially, but what he’s doing right now, he’s definitely good in his job and successful.”
The show will also feature cameos from star athletes – Terrell Owens is in the pilot – and Matthew has been campaigning around town for more guest stars.
“Whenever I come across a famous athlete, I’m shameless, I’ll just ask them to be on the show. To my face, they’ve all said yes, so far,” he said.
Aside from the cameos and Matthew’s rants as Ryan, the opinionated radio sportscaster (under the management of John Cho, who plays his boss, Steven), there is a kooky group he finds when he undergoes those group therapy sessions.
The gang includes Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”) as the quiet Owen, the grieving Annie, played by Julie White and Brett Gelman as the off-beat (and a little unsettling) Mr. K.
Asked by a reporter about what he learned from “Friends,” Matthew made a connection with his current cast.
“’Friends,’ you know, it was just great chemistry… It had great writing, it had great directing and it had really great acting, so a little bit of magic happened there and you never know when and how that’s going to happen,” he said. “You just want to surround yourself with funny talent people, which we certainly have done here with this group.
“Couple of exceptions,” he added to laughs from the crowd.
While “Go On” is in the comedy template, Matthew also championed the show’s darker moments as Ryan deals with realizing how affected he is by the loss of his wife.
“I get to do a bunch of things all at one time. I really like doing comedy and I really like doing drama and this is a really funny show,” he said. “One of the scenes in this show gave me one of the biggest acting challenges I had dramatically, so I really like this.”
“Go On” premieres September 11 at 9/8c on NBC.
-- Jolie Lash