×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Inside Move: ‘Joey’ has ‘Friends’

Spin-off skein may be fully shown at upfront

NBC’s proud as a peacock over new laffer “Joey” — so much so that the net might be ready to take the rare step of giving Madison Avenue a complete look at the half-hour on Monday.

The last time NBC showed off a full pilot at its upfront presentation was 11 years ago, when it screened all but a minute or two of another spinoff: “Frasier.” Peacock programmer Brandon Tartikoff used a similar strategy to launch “Hill Street Blues,” “The Cosby Show” and “The Golden Girls” during the 1980s.

Based on a reaction to final cut of the laffer obtained by Daily Variety, NBC execs shouldn’t be afraid to show off its new pal “Joey.”

Notable bits include a recurring gag about Joey’s sister (Drea de Matteo) and her recent breast augmentation; Joey (Matt LeBlanc) failing a rehearsal for a gig as a news reader; and Jennifer Coolidge as Joey’s brutally honest agent. The only “Friends” character mentioned (in passing) is Chandler.

As for those who’ve seen the pilot, one viewer said he was “never really a ‘Friends’ fan” but that producers “did a good job with it. It reminded me of ‘Frasier’ in a lot of positive ways.”

Another praised the “likable characters” but wondered about the out-of-work actor premise: There’s “only so much you can make fun of on the L.A. actor scene.”

Other buzzings Tuesday:

  • The WB officially picked up “The Mountain,” a family sudser starring Oliver Hudson, from exec producers McG, Stephanie Savage, Shaun Cassidy and director David Barrett. Greenlight follows last week’s pickup of “Jack & Bobby” (Daily Variety, May 4).

    WB co-CEO Jordan Levin said the early pickups are designed “to convey the confidence we feel in the ability of both ‘The Mountain’ and ‘Jack & Bobby’ to reinvigorate the WB’s drama portfolio.”

  • CBS is mulling the idea of putting one or more reality shows on Saturday. Contenders include “Fire Me Please!,” a reworking of the overseas format “Sack Race”; and “Liar,” a take on “To Tell the Truth,” hosted by D.L. Hughley.

  • Former “Friends” scribe Adam Chase is the writer-exec producer of the UPN pilot “Cats and Dogs’ (aka “Play Nice”). His name was left out of Tuesday’s Pilot Buzz.

More TV

  • Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'WKRP In

    Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'Big Guy' Carlson on 'WKRP In Cincinnati,' Dies

    Gerald “Jerry” Blum, the inspiration for the character of radio station general manager Art “Big Guy” Carlson on the long-running TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Saturday at 86. The Atlanta radio veteran was affectionately transformed into the fictional Carlson by veteran comic actor Gordon Jump on “WKRP,” which ran for four seasons on CBS [...]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV News Roundup: 'Arrested Development' Sets Season 5 Return Date at Netflix

    In today’s TV news roundup, the second half of “Arrested Development” season five gets a release date and Netflix announces the voice cast for “Green Eggs and Ham.” CASTING Netflix has announced the ensemble voice cast for the upcoming “Green Eggs and Ham” series executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres and based on the Dr. Seuss book. [...]

  • LA Rams running back Todd Gurley

    Live+7 Ratings for Week of Jan. 28: Super Bowl LIII Clobbers Competition

    In a shock to no one, the 2019 Super Bowl handily defeated all of its broadcast competition in the Live+7 numbers for the week of Jan. 28. Live sports typically receive virtually no lift in delayed viewing, and Super Bowl LIII was no exception. The game did, however, rise from a 31.1 rating in adults [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Faces Prison, Career Ruin if He Lied About Attack

    Jussie Smollett is facing prison time and the implosion of his career if it turns out he lied about being the target of a hate crime, legal and public relations experts say. “The best thing that Jussie can do is pray and pray a lot,” said Ronn Torossian, founder of 5W Public Relations. “If he [...]

  • BETTER THINGS "Chicago" Episode 1 (Airs

    TV Review: 'Better Things' Season 3

    A few episodes into the new season of “Better Things,” fed-up mother Sam (creator Pamela Adlon) tries a new tactic to break up one of the countless petty fights between her daughters. Instead of forcing them apart and hoping for the best, she throws up her hands and decides to just let them go at it, [...]

  • Anna Paquin, Sophie Okonedo in Flack

    TV Review: 'Flack' Starring Anna Paquin

    There’s a familiar, acrid aftertaste to “Flack,” Pop’s new drama about the controlled chaos of the publicity industry. The grim behind-the-scenes machinations of the glossy entertainment industry have always been one of TV’s favorite subjects, as are the people tasked with pulling the strings without anyone ever realizing. Over just six episodes, the show manages [...]

  • Jee Young Han

    NBC Comedy Pilot 'Like Magic' Casts Jee Young Han in Lead Role

    Jee Young Han has been cast in the lead role of the NBC single-camera comedy pilot “Like Magic,” Variety has learned. The project is a workplace comedy that follows an optimistic young woman (Jee) pursuing her dream to be a headlining magician in the eccentric and ego-driven world of the Magic Palace. Jee will play Holly. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content