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Why Even Friends' Director And Producer Had A Problem With Joey

"Friends" dominated the television world during its decade-long tenure on NBC, amounting to a small screen legacy that endures to this day. Though new episodes haven't graced the airwaves since 2004, it remains as popular as ever — so much so that HBO Max hosted a reunion special that brought back nearly everyone who had a part to play in the show's creation and success. On the other hand, the lone spin-off it spawned that explored Joey Tribbiani's (Matt LeBlanc) already eventful life hasn't found nearly as much love since its 2006 cancellation.

Appropriately titled "Joey," the series arrived shortly after "Friends" bid fans farewell, and it became immediately apparent that something was wrong. Sure, folks got a kick out of Joey during his time with the likes of Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), but as the center of his own show about trying to make it big as a Hollywood actor? He and an all-new cast couldn't quite keep that same energy up. As a result, "Joey" only scored two seasons and swiftly left TV after a meager two years in the spotlight (via TV Insider).

Overall "Joey" hasn't left behind the same pop culture footprint as its predecessor, and to a director and executive producer behind "Friends," that's not a problem. Here's why they disliked the short-lived spin-off so much.

Kevin Bright doesn't think Joey handled the lead character properly

Despite helping turn "Friends" into a TV staple, Kevin Bright couldn't do the same as an executive producer and director on "Joey." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained that a part of the problem was that he didn't buy into the story the off-shoot was attempting to tell. "That storyline did not do service to the character. Joey should have come out to Hollywood and had the time of his life," Bright claimed, explaining that his vision for the show would've come across more like "Entourage" and implying that NBC butchered "Joey" from the start.

Speaking on NBC's supposed interference, Bright said, "That's not the way 'Friends' came together, I can tell you that." It's also worth noting that as "Friends" wrapped up, a Joey Tribbiani solo series wasn't even on anyone's radar. Rather, as Bright revealed to Metro.co.uk, a show focused on Rachel Green first came up in conversation, but Jennifer Aniston's burgeoning film career put that hope to bed. Bright and his colleagues also considered a spin-off about Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) and Chandler Bing, though their respective actors had no interest in sticking with their "Friends" roles any longer.

"Joey" will go down as a failed experiment no matter how you look at it and based on his comments alone, Kevin Bright isn't surprised in the slightest. One can only wonder if the other proposed "Friends" successor shows would've fared better or if they would've faded into obscurity too.