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Episodes is a comedy about just how ludicrous the television industry has become. It is about the process of developing and producing a situational comedy from the writing to the finished product. Mostly it is about the outlandish characters that work in television and the utterly ridiculous situations they put themselves in.

The story revolves around a couple from England, Sean and Beverly, who have come to Los Angeles to write and produce an American version of their very successful British show. Unfortunately, once they arrive, they find that the Network is not really interested in the original concept of the show or the characters that were in it. In fact, by the time the American version of the show reaches the air the only thing that really remains from the original are the title and the names of most of the characters.

While trying to come to terms with the drastic changes being made to their show the writers find themselves surrounded by actors and network executives that seem to have lost any ability to tell the truth or make sensible decisions. In the presence of so many inflated egos they usually find it impossible to make their opinions heard and the result is that they end up producing a show that they are embarrassed to put their names to.

The executives who are making the decisions either are not aware, or simply do not care, that they have, in the eyes of the Beverly and Sean, ruined the show. They are only interested in the ratings and as long as they stay high everything is great as far as they are concerned. However, when the numbers begin to fall the network panics and more craziness ensues.

The actors in the fictional show, chosen by the network not the writers, are a host of self absorbed misfits. With one exception, none of them have been able to land a long running series and are desperate to make this one work. The one successful character, Matt LeBlanc, plays in himself in a strange convergence of fact and fiction that really gives the series a unique spin.

Episodes is a very funny spoof of what goes on behind the scenes in television. The characters are larger than life and out of touch with reality but still very believable. After all, isn't that what Hollywood is all about?

Monday 10:30 PM et/pt on Showtime
5 Seasons, 41 Episodes
January 9, 2011
Comedy
7.8/10
Cast: Matt LeBlanc, Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, Kathleen Rose Perkins
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Episodes Full Episode Guide

  • Sean and Beverly learn that Matt - offering no explanation - has passed on the new show they created for him. Now they must figure out what lies ahead for their lives and careers without Matt. Carol continues to pursue her lawsuit against Helen and the network. But an encounter at her deposition may take her life in an entirely unexpected direction. Series finale.

  • Sean and Beverly find themselves in an ugly dispute with Matt when he demands a writing credit on their new show. Neither side is willing to give in. After all, they came up with the premise - but he bought the pads and pens! Carol decides to leave television, move home to Michigan and raise Merc's child on her own. What will she do for money? Sue Helen and the network for sexual harassment.

  • Carol reveals that she's pregnant and, even more significant, planning on keeping the baby - forcing Beverly to finally tell her the truth about Merc and Morning. Meanwhile, in the midst of Matt, Sean and Beverly struggling to come up with an idea for a new show, Matt's father drops dead - thrusting Matt (and a reluctant Sean and Beverly) into the enormous hassle of dealing with his remains.

  • Back on the hiking trail for the first time in months, Carol confesses to Beverly her newfound happiness with Merc. Appalled, Beverly nevertheless agrees to support her - until she discovers that Merc has recently become engaged. To Morning Randolph! Matt takes Sean and Beverly to his ranch for a working weekend to try and come up with a new series. Gunplay ensues. And a wild boar.

  • Matt tries to woo Sean and Beverly away from Tim. Carol hits rock bottom.

  • Matt's tryst with Danika goes viral - and no amount of damage control can contain it. Matt tries to take matters into his own hands by calling Elliot Salad, the head of the network, to plead his case but ends up getting more than he bargained for. Meanwhile, life goes on for the rest of the world. Sean and Beverly endure a disastrous casting session with Tim. And Carol gets stoned with her maid.

  • Matt's show is a runaway hit. Carol goes into a tailspin. Season premiere.

  • Beverly and Carol struggle to hide their friendship from Helen. It's showtime for "The Box"!

  • Beverly and Carol are forced to hide their friendship from an increasingly jealous Helen. Matt is caught between a financial rock and hard place: either sell his beach house or take a job as a game show host.

  • Sean is hurt that Matt hasn't shown any interest in his new show. Carol attempts to slow down the pace of her new relationship with Helen.

  • Matt is forced to spend a day at the hospital when his father undergoes heart surgery.

  • Three is definitely a crowd, as Sean and Beverly are forced to consider a writing partnership with Tim, and Carol and Helen discover they have a bedfellow in common. Meanwhile, with Matt's finances in rapid decline, he receives a lucrative yet dubious invitation.

  • Sean's former writing partner tightens the screws on Sean and Beverly. Carol throws herself into a new and unexpected romance. Matt may have found an answer to both his disastrous love life and his financial woes.

  • Sean's former writing partner turns up to wreak havoc. Merc's career is given a new lease on life. And both Matt and Carol find romance in the most unexpected places.

  • Matt scrambles to solve his financial woes. Several networks compete for Sean and Beverly's new show. Carol must mend fences with a woman whose husband she slept with.

  • Sean and Beverly's Hollywood career refuses to die, as they're dragged back from London to make six more episodes of "Pucks!". Matt gets some very disturbing news about his finances. Carol once again lobbies to run the network.

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