John Laroquette will be Joey's new Friend

Actor John Larroquette, star of the long-running '80s sitcom Night Court, will guest-star in a two-episode story arc on the NBC Friends spin-off Joey, reported Broadcasting and Cable Wednesday. The Matt LeBlanc sitcom fared poorly in the ratings last season, and when NBC announced their fall schedule earlier this summer, they vowed to tweak Joey into health. The network is hoping the addition of an Emmy-winning actor can help Joey defend itself against time-slot competitor and buzz-machine Everybody Hates Chris, the new sitcom from Chris Rock.

The storyline of Joey involves LeBlanc's character, Joey Tribiani, moving from New York to Los Angeles in order to "make it" as an actor. Larroquette will portray an actor costarring alongside Tribiani in a movie called Captured.

Joey also stars Drea de Matteo, who was a gangter's moll on The Sopranos until she ran afoul of her "family" in the fifth season of that show.

Laroquette won four Emmys in the '80s for his work as Assistant DA Dan Fielding on Night Court. He went on to star in his own sitcom, The John Larroquette Show, which featured the actor as a recovering alcoholic who manages a big-city bus station. In that show's second season, he won a fifth Emmy. He made several feature films, including Second Sight, which paired him with Bronson Pinchot as a psychic detective, before returning to television with the sitcom Happy Family in 2003. Recently, he has played the role of cop-turned-attormey Mike McBride in the Hallmark McBride movie series. This October, he will guest-star on new Fox show Kitchen Confidential.

The first of the two Larroquette-starring Joey episodes airs September 29.

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