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

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

  • Bryan Cranston First Time in Variety

    Bryan Cranston on His Early Roles, Dealing With Rejection and His 'Erasable Mind'

    Following his 2014 Tony Award for best actor as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play “All the Way,” Bryan Cranston is looking to add to his trophy collection this year with his performance as Howard Beale in “Network.” The deranged anchorman — who’s famously “mad as hell and not going to take this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content