'Friends' Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston back in a big way
The cast of "Friends" is back to making headlines, this time with Matthew Perry leading the way with ratings love for the debut of his new sitcom, "Mr. Sunshine."
Thanks to a lot of hype and a lead-in from "Modern Family" on Wednesday night, 10.57 million viewers tuned in to watch the premiere of the ABC show, according to overnight ratings from Nielson Co.
The show stars Perry as a San Diego stadium owner and Andrea Anders as his love interest, who is his "Friends" costar Matt LeBlanc's real-life girlfriend.
(The 9:30 p.m. Wednesday premiere bar had been set pretty high in 2009 by another "Friends" alum, Courteney Cox, whose "Cougar Town" on ABC drew 11.28 million viewers in September of that year.)
Flip the channel to NBC, where LeBlanc shattered many a heart -- including Jay Leno's -- when he visited "The Tonight Show" and revealed that he'd started dyeing his hair black while "Friends" was in full swing. The star of Showtime's "Episodes" said he started dyeing the sides of his now salt-and-pepper locks in his mid-20s.
"Dyeing it on the show would take like an hour and a half," he said — so he got some Just for Men and started coloring it himself. It "takes five minutes, but then about a half-hour of paint-thinner to get the black off your ears," he said, laughing.
"This is shattering for those of us that loved the show," Leno said.
Another "Friends" fun fact: LeBlanc said he shut down production on the Emmy-winning show during "The One Where No One's Ready." He blew out his shoulder while performing "the safest stunt," in which Joey had to jump over the coffee table and land in the down chair that he and Chandler were fighting over.
Watch a clip here.
Jennifer Aniston will be battling Justin Bieber at the box office this weekend when her new comedy, "Just Go With It," with Adam Sandler, opens against the Biebs' documentary, "Never Say Never."
Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer, where you at?
For the record, 5:35 p.m.: This post originally said "Mr. Sunshine" had bested "Cougar Town's" premiere-night ratings, with numbers given only for the Matthew Perry show. "Cougar Town" in fact premiered with 11.28 million viewers to "Mr. Sunshine's" 10.57 million.
— Nardine Saad
Photos, from top: Matthew Perry portrays Ben Donovan in a scene from "Mr. Sunshine." Matt LeBlanc as himself in "Episodes." Jennifer Aniston attends the premiere of "Just Go With It" in New York. Credits, from top: Michael Desmond / ABC; Colin Hutton / Showtime; Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images.