‘Joey’ replaces gal pal

Stamos laffer on at ABC

NBC’s “Joey” will have one less friend when it hits the air this fall, while ABC has shown some love for John Stamos’ romantic comedy.

Alphabet has also decided to delay this month’s scheduled premiere of reality skein “The Two-Timer” until later this summer.

As for “Joey,” thesp Ashley Scott has departed the skein, as the show’s writers have opted to rework her character. Scott had played the attractive-but-married Los Angeles neighbor of the title character; producers have decided to instead create a new character who might serve as a love interest for Joey (Matt LeBlanc).

Warner Bros. TV execs said they were sorry that things didn’t work out with Scott, who last starred in the studio’s short-lived WB drama “Birds of Prey”; a spokeswoman said the studio hopes to work with her again in the future. The rest of the “Friends” spinoff’s cast remains.

Meanwhile, ABC Entertainment topper Steve McPherson plans to announce Thursday at the net’s affils meeting in Anaheim that he has officially ordered 13 episodes of the untitled Stamos laffer. It’s unlikely he’ll announce his new development team Thursday, however.

But insiders Tuesday were abuzz with speculation that McPherson is trying to woo former Touchstone drama chief Francie Calfo back to the company to serve as a senior exec at the network. Calfo currently has her own successful Touchstone-based pod.

As for Stamos, the show’s concept has changed: Rather than revolve around a first date that evolves throughout the season, “24” style, the Stamos sitcom will now revolve more around his character, a New York-based playboy of a publicist. Producers had already been reworking the concept (Daily Variety, May 13).

Alphabet web is still scouting for a showrunner for the series.

In the case of “Two-Timer,” execs at ABC wanted to give exec producer Mike Fleiss and Telepictures more time to work on the show. ABC might also want to have a strong reality contender on hand closer to the fall launch.

“We really wanted Telepictures to take their time with the editing process and we didn’t want to have to rush it on the air,” a spokeswoman said. “By moving the premiere date, we’ll have plenty of time to give this show the launch it deserves.”

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