Matthew Perry back on NBC’s “Go On”

MATTHEW PERRY, photo by Margie Barron

Matthew Perry credits “great chemistry” for the mega success of the sitcom Friends, which gave him fame and fortune. Now Perry hopes to find that key ingredient as his new NBC comedy Go On takes off.

Perry says it’s a gift when that chemistry happens, and also notes that Friends had “great writing, directing, and really great acting. So a little bit of magic happened there.” He is hoping for some of that “magic” to infuse his Go On castmates and production team, but says “you never know when and how that’s going to happen. All you can do is surround yourself with funny, talented people, which I certainly have done with this group.” His costars include Laura Benanti, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Tyler James Williams, Brett Gelman and John Cho.

Go On has Perry playing Ryan King, a sportscaster who tries to move on after a personal tragedy with the help of mandatory therapy sessions. Perry explains, “It’s a show about a group of characcters just trying to deal with the challenges of life. They are thrown together to become unlikely supporters and friends.”

Perry is not shy about mentioning that he has had therapy sessions to help him with various challenges in his life. And he admits the role appeals to him because he “gravitates towards sort of broken characters who try to be better people. The setup here is, this guy has had some very dramatic things happen to him. His wife died and he’s in denial when you meet him.”

He’s excited about the acting because he gets to do comedy and some drama with the storytelling. “I love the material. I hope it’s a sympathetic character. And I hope that it’s funny.”

Playing the role of a sports talk radio host also appealed to Perry. He says it’s fun to invite real sports stars to come on the show. “Whenever I come across a famous athlete I’m shameless. I’ll just ask them to be on the show. And to my face they’ve all said yes so far,” reports the 43-year-old die-hard hocky-loving sports fan.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years. Frank Barron was the editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they contributed to numerous publications.