Joey "won't change too much"
Former Friends star promises his character won't change after landing new sitcom.
16:12 06 February 2005
Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc has promised fans of the sitcom that his character Joey Tribbiani won't be changing too much after the star landed his own show based on the role.
The Friends spin-off, Joey, will make its British debut on Channel Five on February 13th.
Friends producers Warners hit upon the idea when their cult sitcom finished in 2004.
The new series follows the life of LeBlanc's loveable character as he leaves his well-known friends in New York to try and make it as an actor in Hollywood.
"People are going to be tuning in because they want to see a character they care about, so I think I'd be doing them a disservice if I went about changing him too much," said 37-year-old LeBlanc in an interview with The Sunday Times.
"We have had some growing pains, finding the voices of the new characters, but we're making progress," he added, stressing the character of Joey was largely "unexplored " in Friends.
The actor claims he feels comfortable in his familiar role, particularly given that the new sitcom is being filmed on the old set of Friends.
LeBlanc's former co-stars including Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry have long since left to pursue their film careers, but the new show will see the actor teamed with former Sopranos actress Drea de Matteo, who plays Joey's sister.
Channel Five bosses will be hoping the show proves popular with British viewers after it struggled to maintain its place in the US ratings.
Launched in America by NBC last year, Joey started with an audience of 18 million, but suffered a drop in viewing figures when the CBS show Survivor was launched on the same night.
Channel Five has paid ?500,000 an episode to air the new sitcom, the Sunday Times reports.