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If Joey makes friends with L.A. ...

What would be the premise of this new series? Should the lovable dim bulb be a Disneyland guide? A Dodger vendor?

August 01, 2003|Andy Edelstein | Newsday

So NBC is doing the smart thing and spinning off Matt LeBlanc's lovable lunkhead Joey Tribbiani to star in his own series, starting in September 2004. On paper it seems like a no-brainer.

But spinoffs -- which usually involve a character's relocation and change in job status -- are a tricky animal.

Who could have imagined Boston barroom philosopher Dr. Frasier Crane would morph into a Seattle radio talk show host, or that neurotic single Minnesotan Rhoda Morgenstern would turn into a self-assured, married Manhattanite?

But sometimes the transformation doesn't work. Does anyone remember when Archie Bunker's daughter, Gloria, was spun off as a divorced veterinarian trainee?

NBC is keeping mum about what "Joey" will entail, except to hint that most likely he will relocate to Los Angeles.

With that in mind, we'd like to offer these five possibilities:

"The Two Joeys" -- Upon arriving in L.A., Joey hooks up with that other transplanted New Yorker with the same first name (Buttafuoco). They become partners in a combination auto body shop/coffee bar called Bumps 'n' Grinds.

"Regular Joey" -- While waiting for his next acting gig, Joey gets a new L.A.-centric job each week, including pool boy, valet parker and peanut vendor at Dodger Stadium.

"Joey Millionaire" -- On his last night in New York, Joey discovers he has a winning lottery ticket. Taking his mega-millions to California, he embarks on a quest to find a perfect mate. Each week features a new candidate, with Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) showing up during November sweeps.

"D.R." -- Medical comedy. A severe case of culture shock affects Joey's mental processes when he arrives in L.A. and he starts believing he is actually Dr. Drake Ramoray, the character he played on "Days of Our Lives." Gullible Angelenos love his bedside manner, and he becomes the newest celebrity doctor.

"Joey of the Jungle" -- Joey takes a temp job as a guide on the Disneyland Jungle Cruise. There he befriends the baseball-playing chimp who was LeBlanc's teammate in the movie classic "Ed."

*

Andy Edelstein writes about television for Newsday, a Tribune company.

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