Here's what the cast of ''Friends'' is up to this week. Lisa Kudrow plans a sitcom for Aisha Tyler, Courteney Cox plans a trip to Sundance, and David Schwimmer plays No Limit Texas Hold 'Em

By Gary Susman
Updated December 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

FROM ‘SOUP’ TO NUTS Proving that she’s no Phoebe-like scatterbrain, Lisa Kudrow is building a résumé as a TV producer. Her first project, the holiday romantic comedy ”Picking Up & Dropping Off” (starring ”Party of Five” alum Scott Wolf), debuts on Dec. 7 on the ABC Family channel. Her next is a collaboration with a new friend, Aisha Tyler, who played Ross’ love interest Charlie Wheeler last season and this season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kudrow will produce a yet-untitled sitcom starring the former ”Talk Soup” host for CBS.

Writing the pilot for the show, a workplace comedy in the vein of ”The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” will be ”Grounded for Life” creators Bill Martin and Mike Schiff. ”Basically, it?s about a woman trying to maintain her sanity and self-respect in a modern corporate environment,” Martin tells the Reporter. Says Dan Bucatinsky, Kudrow’s producing partner: ”We?ll try to fashion a show around Aisha, capitalizing on her smart, fun, sophisticated, accessible personality.” In a statement, Kudrow said that, when she and Bucatinsky launched their Is or Isn’t Entertainment shingle in May, ”the first business we wanted to pursue was Aisha. She grabbed my and everybody?s attention because she is such a great actress. She is smart and warm; it is an incredible combination.”

SWEET ‘NOVEMBER’ Hey, Courteney Cox! You’re wrapping up your zillion-dollar run on ”Friends,” and you’ve got your own design show on cable’s WE. What are you going to do now? I’m going to Utah! Cox stars in ”November,” a drama in competition next month at Utah’s Sundance Film Festival. She plays a photographer who falls to pieces after her boyfriend is killed in a convenience store robbery. James Le Gros and Anne Archer costar. No doubt Cox will be on hand for the Sundance screening, a world premiere.

FLUSH WITH EXCITEMENT Guess David Schwimmer’s famously hangdog mug isn’t much of a poker face. So viewers discovered in the premiere episode of Bravo’s ”Celebrity Poker,” which aired Tuesday night and featured Schwimmer playing No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em against Ben Affleck, Don Cheadle, Willie Garson (”Sex and the City”), and Emily Procter (”CSI: Miami”). The players’ game faces offered the kind of intimate glimpse at stars’ true feelings that we usually don’t get to see except when they lose at awards shows. ”Oddly enough,” wrote a New York Times reviewer, ”seeing Mr. Schwimmer’s painful attempt to smile sportingly after betting all his chips on a losing hand on ‘Celebrity Poker’ is more revealing than a dozen interviews on ‘Today’ or ‘Entertainment Tonight.”’


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