With the muscle of the Olympics behind it, NBC will deliver a preview of one of its most-anticipated new shows: Matthew Perry's sitcom, "Go On."
The former "Friends" actor's latest project will air its first episode at 11 p.m. Wednesday on NBC and then return for its regular run on Tuesday, Sept. 11. In it, he plays sportscaster Ryan King, who is trying to move on after the death of his wife.
He joins group therapy filled with others who are having trouble dealing with personal crisis, such as divorce and death. There's one mysterious guy who's in the group but no one knows why because they're too afraid to ask.
"I gravitate toward sort of broken characters who try to be better people," Perry, who played Chandler Bing on "Friends," told reporters recently, "and that setup is just much better here, first of all.
"(One) guy (in group therapy) was sort of in a bad mood and no one really knew why. And this (other) guy has had some very dramatic things happen to him, and he's in denial when you meet him.
"So it's a sort of built-in excuse to be really funny."
Since "Friends" ended, Perry has had mixed success with series television. He joined the cast of "The West Wing" and the drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." Later he tried to return to sitcoms with "Mr. Sunshine" for ABC, but it failed in one season.
To maintain a series, Perry has found fans want him to play likable guys.
"In my efforts to have a TV show and come back, the characters have progressively gotten nicer," Perry said. "I don't know why that is. But you certainly want to play a guy that people can get behind and root for, and I think that this character does have that."
A Showtime series titled "The End of Steve" never made it on the air. Perry understands why.
"(I played) a terrible guy, and I thought it was genius, and everybody went, 'Hee hee, I don't want to watch that.' And then, 'Mr. Sunshine,' he was sort of down and out and now this guy is he's a nicer, more well-intended guy," Perry said.
Despite Perry's track record, NBC is bullish on "Go On." Not only is it airing a preview during the Olympics, it will settle into its regular time slot after "The Voice" in September.
Other highlights for the week of Aug. 5-11. All times Eastern. Listings subject to change. Check local listings:
-- "Summer Olympics" (8 p.m., NBC). Women's diving, beach volleyball, gymnastics and track and field are on the agenda.
-- "Breaking Bad" (10 p.m., AMC). Just how does a budding meth kingpin celebrate his birthday?
-- "General Hospital: Seduction" (8 p.m., SoapNet). Fans picked their favorite seduction episode.
-- "Bunheads" (9 p.m., ABC Family). Fanny reveals she has a longtime boyfriend, and Michelle is aghast.
-- "Summer Olympics" (8 p.m., NBC). Bicycle motocross rumbles into action.
-- "Summer Olympics" (8 p.m., NBC). Men's diving and women's volleyball are in the lineup.
-- "Boogeyman" (9 p.m., SyFy). A supernatural creature goes on the loose after its keeper dies.