Pilot Scoop: Allison Janney, Tony Shalhoub Come to Dinner in NBC's Greg Daniels Comedy

Guess who’s coming to Friday Night Dinner?

Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub have been cast in the Greg Daniels-helmed NBC comedy pilot, which centers on a quirky family that — you guessed it — dines together each Friday evening.

The Emmy-winning duo (her for West Wing, him for Monk) will play Barbara and Gene, the parental units of the family.

Daniels — who also brought The Office to the States — adapted the single-camera Friday Night Dinner from the UK series by the same name. Tamsin Greig (Showtime’s Episodes) and Paul Ritter (BBC’s Land Girls) played the aforementioned roles on the British version.

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23 Comments
  1. John says:

    I’m curious to see how the premise works. It seems to me that the more they limit the perspective, the better the formula will work…as in, we’re locked in one location on one night each week, and we have to glean all the rest of the story from the conversations that night. I think it could be pretty strong.

    • John says:

      Of course I wonder this having never seen a single episode of the Brit series…was that how it worked overseas, anyone who’s seen it?

      • Mal says:

        Yes, that is how the Brit version works. Two sons return to their parent’s home every Friday night for dinner. Sometimes an extra relative or friend is there. It’s amazing how well the depict sibling relationships on that show, b/c the way the brothers act toward each other is exactly how my sister and I behave. Sure, we’re grown people, but we revert into brats around each other!
        I think these were AWESOME casting decisions! I’m actually excited about this remake now!!

  2. Molly says:

    The British version is hilarious! I love the dad on it and I don’t think Tony will compare, but I’ll definitely watch if it goes to series. Allison will be great as the mom. I wonder who they’ll cast as the sons.

    • Mandy says:

      I LOVE the British version and I am cautiously optimistic about the American version. I adore Allison Janney, they couldn’t have chosen anyone better to play the mom. You are right about the dad, I don’t Tony will compare to Paul Ritter either, he’s so amazing. But I’m really interested to see how this turns out.

  3. kirads09 says:

    I will be looking for this. Could be good!

    • Danielle H says:

      Agreed, this resonates with me somehow. The leads have promise, as does the premise. And I think America will want to see people actually sit down and eat together, which is trending less and less presently.
      The question is: WILL IT AIR ON FRIDAY? I doubt it, but it would be only fitting, eh?

  4. Patrick says:

    Paging Emily Gilmore….sound familiar?

  5. Jay says:

    I just thought the British version was OK so not sure how this will turn out. The British version had the benefit of only being 6 episodes, so not sure how this will work over 22 episodes.
    For the person who asked, the show usually took place all over the house (and backyard). They did venture to a restaurant though in one episode.

  6. DryedMangoez says:

    OMG, this is actually perfect casting! I can see both of them in the roles already. The original is billiant, but it should be interesting to see how it’ll work with a 22 episode season. (Or even 13)

  7. Carla says:

    CJ!!!!!!! OK, they better not screw this up. Don’t put Allison Janney in anything that’s less than fantastic.

  8. Maddie says:

    There’s some serious Emmy hardware between both AJ and TS. There expectations are going to be pretty high. Hopefully it lives up (and isn’t actually shown on a Fri night).

  9. ljd213 says:

    This is a reprise of their movie lives, they were in “Big Night” together with an implied romance between two shy people. That movie also focused on a dinner.

  10. Matt Durrant says:

    Really wish there was more originality on US TV. Only Fools and Horses, Friday Night Dinner, what next?

  11. NavyBill says:

    Tony Shalhoub and Allison Janney are both great comedians. I’m looking forward to seeing them work together. It sounds like the makings of a hit for NBC.

    • mozelle says:

      does anyone know when the first episode will air? And what night of the week will it be? I have tried every website about this and it never mentions when it will air.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER is only at the pilot stage. We’ll know in May if it makes it onto NBC’s schedule for 2012-13.

  12. Candy says:

    I thoroughly am crazy big time about Tony Shalhoub. Brooke is soooo damn lucky, I hope she knows just how lucky she is to land this sweet and cute hunk.

  13. JayBee says:

    I know one of the sons – he’ll do great!

  14. Sandy says:

    Am so excited to see Kevin Bigley as Paul. I know him and he’s definitely got the sense of humor for this role.