‘Friends’ Co-Creator and Lisa Kudrow Brainstorming a Phoebe Spin-off — Report
This hasn’t been our day, our week, our month, or even our year… but a Friends spin-off could seriously give us some much-needed comic relief.
The tabloid buzz is that Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman is thinking about giving
Regina Phalange Phoebe Buffay her own show.
Lisa and Marta have been working together on Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie — Lisa is joining Season 4 as a meddlesome manicurist — and a source tells In Touch they’ve also been “brainstorming fun ideas” for a Phoebe-centric show.
“[Phoebe] would probably be divorced now and living back in NYC,” the source says.
In Touch claims there would be cameos along the way but the “ultimate goal” is to get all six Friends back together for “one hilarious episode.” (As if they’d get together for an un-funny episode.)
“It’s only natural that she would occasionally bump into her old Central Perk gang,” that insider adds.
“It would be an epic TV moment. If there’s anyone that can make that happen, it’s Lisa.”
Take this scoop with a whole shaker full of salt. In Touch has a spotty track record, and for that matter, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard talk of a Phoebe spin-off.
In 2003, WENN reported on “hush-hush” plans to do a show called Girlfriends, which would focus on Phoebe and Charlie Wheeler (Aisha Tyler’s character), with occasional appearances by Ross Gellar.
We never got that spin-off, but we did get an offshoot focused on Joey Tribbiani, simply titled Joey, which took the Matt LeBlanc character to Los Angeles.
Despite lukewarm reviews, 18.6 million people tuned into that show’s series premiere in 2004. Midway through the second season, though, the viewership had fallen to just 4.1 million, and NBC took it off air.
Joey co-creator Scott Silveri recently reflected on that show’s failure in a Hollywood Reporter roundtable.
My initial reaction when approached to do it was, ‘Oh, God, no.’ And then after a couple of days, I thought, ‘Well, LeBlanc is a special guy, and I get to continue working with him, and it scares the hell out of me.’
“The funny thing is, the only problem with that show is that it had to succeed.”
Kevin S. Bright, who executive-produced both Friends and Joey, is less forgiving about the experience.
“On Friends, Joey was a womanizer, but we enjoyed his exploits. He was a solid friend, a guy you knew you could count on,” he told The Age in 2006.
“Joey was deconstructed to be a guy who couldn’t get a job, couldn’t ask a girl out. He became a pathetic, mopey character. I felt he was moving in the wrong direction, but I was not heard.”
Moral of the Joey debacle: If a Phoebe spin-off is happening, it’d better be near-perfect.
But Marta and Lisa are comedy powerhouses — we’d trust ‘em to do justice to the Friends legacy!