In the decades since the television industry introduced the concept of spinoffs, many successful offshoots have premiered on the small screen, from The Jeffersons to Better Call Saul and beyond. Along the way, though, there have been plenty of duds.
Critically acclaimed TV shows such as Friends and The Brady Bunch were widely regarded as groundbreaking entries to the world of pop culture, and yet their short-lived spinoffs left many viewers wondering why the originals were not left alone.
Joey, in particular, bombed in comparison to Friends, although Matt LeBlanc managed to land a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as the dim-witted but lovable Joey Tribbiani during the spinoff’s two-season run.
“It didn’t allow Matt to have this carefree kind of lifestyle, and it tried to make Joey grow up — and I think that was a huge mistake,” Kevin S. Bright, who worked on both Friends and Joey, told Digital Spy in 2018. “Joey, in my mind, should have been a kid for life, until he found the right woman that was willing to take care of this kid — and accept him as who he was. I think the transformation of Joey into a guy who doesn’t know how to get a date, who doesn’t have any friends – I think that made the audience go away.”
As for the lesser-known Brady Brides — which followed Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb’s respective characters, Marcia Brady and Jan Brady, as newlyweds — the show had better ratings than Joey but only lasted one season. Still, the cast had a ball reprising their Brady Bunch roles as adults.
“That was fun,” Ann B. Davis, who played housekeeper Alice Nelson on the ABC sitcom and its many spinoffs, told the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2004. “I was sort of out of the business, and I just came back for the fun parts, which was reunions, getting to know the kids now that the kids are grown up — because they all grew up, on the show and between the shows. It was always interesting to see what they turned out to be.”
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