Friends was one of the most popular television sitcoms of all time. When the series ended in 2004, it made sense to cash in on the momentum and produce a Friends spinoff series. With the majority of the gang paired up (mostly with each other), the only character to ‘spin off’ was Joey, who was moving to Los Angeles to continue pursuing his acting career. However, as Friends executive producer Kevin Bright recently revealed, the spinoff didn’t exactly go as planned.
In an interview with THR for the Friends reunion special, executive producer Kevin Bright spoke on the ill-fated spinoff Joey. Apparently, the plot was not what Kevin Bright had originally envisioned. When asked what would have happened to Joey if not for the spinoff as it ultimately aired on NBC, Bright responded:
The real version of the spinoff. I’m not a fan of the storyline of Joey. I’m the producer of the show and that storyline did not do service to the character. Joey should have come out to Hollywood and had the time of his life. It should have been far more an Entourage than it was this family ‘Joey needs to grow up’ show. Joey would have gotten a pilot, come out to Hollywood and had the time of his life and gotten into all kinds of trouble. And we would have discovered new parts of Joey in the process. It would have been a lot more fun than the nerdy nephew and the barking sister. I don’t even know where it’s streaming now. We all would have watched the Joey I imagined, but that’s what happens when you finish one show that’s a giant hit: you go back to the back of the line and you don’t know anything and the network and studio get their imprints on it. That’s not the way Friends came together, I can tell you that.
Maybe that’s why Joey didn’t live up to the huge standards set by Friends. The sitcom lasted for barely 2 seasons before NBC pulled the plug. It’s a shame, considering that Joey was such a charming and sweet character. I could definitely see him strutting around Los Angeles, flirting with wannabe actresses and generally living his best life.
Kevin Bright’s words might sound harsh to Joey Tribbiani fans. However, in his defense, the plot of Joey was, well, boring. The new characters, like Joey’s sister Gina and his nephew Michael, simply weren’t very interesting. Gina was a hairdresser and Michael was a nerdy kid. That doesn’t exactly make for riveting television. No offense to the actors, who did their best with the scripts they were given, but Joey could have been a much hipper, zestier show. If only the network had taken a page out of Entourage’s bachelor-friendly book and given Joey the fun LA lifestyle he deserved.
On the bright side, we’ll always have the original ten seasons of Friends to appreciate our favorite himbo. You can watch every episode on HBO Max, as well as the all-new Friends reunion special. It features every OG cast member, so be sure to check it out. Want to brush up on your Friends trivia before watching? CinemaBlend has you covered.