David Schwimmer says Friends success ‘influences his choices’ – but Sky’s Intelligence might just be as good

The star plays a pompous NSA agent in the new sitcom from writer/actor Nick Mohammed

David Schwimmer - Intelligence

If you’ve been on the biggest sitcom of all time, picking follow-up comedy projects must be tricky… but David Schwimmer thinks he’s found a worthy successor to Friends in Sky One’s Intelligence.


Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com at Sky’s Up Next event, Schwimmer admitted that his threshold for comedy roles is especially high having played Ross Geller from 1994 to 2004.

“I guess it influences my choices in that the barometer has to be very high,” he said, adding that it was the chance to work with Intelligence writer/star Nick Mohammed that was the big appeal of the project.


“Nick, I’m a major fan of and his idea I thought was so unique and original,” Schwimmer continued. “I just thought it would be really fun and might meet that standard [set by Friends]. You guys will be the judge but I think he’s done a brilliant job and I’m really proud of the show.”

Intelligence set in the UK’s GCHQ – a “weedier, geekier” version of MI5, where they tackle international and domestic Cyber Crime from a desktop, with Schwimmer’s pompous NSA agent joining the team and enlisting Mohammed’s inept computer analyst.

“The inspiration was… I’d always wanted to write a workplace sitcom, something that focused on the human side, the minutiae of those daily, quite humdrum interactions that everyone has,” Mohammed explained.

“What I liked about GCHQ was you’ve got this environment where there’s lots of hotdesking and big open-plan offices, but on on this huge backdrop, these big stakes of national security, and then [we’re] involving David’s character, an American coming into that workplace and shaking things up with a different approach.”

Intelligence begins on Sky One on Friday, 21st February at 9pm. All episodes will also be available via Sky and NOW TV.


Sky has already ordered a second series of the show before the first has been released, so it seems the broadcaster shares Schwimmer’s optimism that this could be ahuge comedy hit.