Why NBC won't cancel 'Joey'

18654__joey_lTo paraphrase an old Concrete Blonde song, ”Joey, if you’re hurtin’, so is… NBC.” So how come, even though ratings for the Friends spinoff are down 42 percent from its less-than-electrifying freshman year, NBC hasn’t pulled the plug? Well, as Lynette Rice reports in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly (on newsstands Friday), ”it’s cheaper for the network to keep the series on the air.”

How so? According to Rice’s story, series star Matt LeBlanc collects his approximate $700,000 per episode paycheck ”no matter what.” Even worse, NBC would have to pay ”stiff penalties” to Joey producer Warner Bros. in the event of an early cancellation. Ouch!

Rice, however, suggests a lemons-to-lemonade approach: Create a comedy block of My Name Is Earl, Joey, Will & Grace, and Scrubs on Thursdays. Heck, as NBC proved years ago with Jesse, ”must-see” can be a pretty loose adjective on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. — as long as there’s actual laughs to be found at 8 and 9.

How would you fix NBC’s Joey problem?

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  • Jesse

    I think as long as they flip the times for Joey and Will & Grace, Joey’s rating’ll go up. Season 2 of the Friends spin off is so much better than the first, but the ratings prove it simply isn’t a top of the hour comedy. Will & Grace, especially in it’s final season, deserves that time slot.

  • miv

    i haven’t watched consistently this season, but i haven’t watched anything on thursdays this season, so…it’s not so much a diss on Joey. i think it’s funny show. no, it’s not as funny as Friends or as edgy as Early, but LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani is comfortably funny. not the worst comedy by any means.
    i think it really needs to be paired with something with higher ratings as well and have it lead into Joey in order to save it some.

  • eric

    This season is better than last. It’s funnier; especially Alex, the neighbor. They’ve made her character a total goof and her crush on Joey is really funny. Better still, more Jennifer Coolidge.

  • Carlos

    I honestly think Joey doesn’t deserve a chance at his point. Besides, where is that going to leave ‘The Office?’ It’s a much better show that deserves a decent time slot. Replace Joey with The Office and THEN you’ll have a perfect block of TV. If NBC is too cheap to cancel it, then they shouldn’t have brought it back for another season. That doesn’t mean that other shows have to suffer.

  • claudenorth

    What to do with “The Office?” Put it on as part of the proposed Thursday block and put “Will & Grace” out of its misery. Check out early W&G to see just how much that show has declined in the past two years.

  • Carly

    Two words: Heather Locklear. She seems to have the goddess touch on flailing shows.

  • Ria

    i love Joey Tribbiani sooo much! He’s really hilarious! We should him give him a chance to show his worth especially in the comedy department…

  • Jonathan

    bring on Matthew Perry

  • brandonk

    Please don’t put “My Name is Earl” on Thursdays! There’s already too much to watch on that night! I’m already missing “Will & Grace.”

  • Ria

    Let Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry guest the show…I’m pretty sure ratings will sky rocket once they visit Joey!

  • Ria Liwanag

    Let Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry guest the show…I’m pretty sure ratings will sky rocket once they visit Joey!

  • Lori

    I agree that letting Joey’s old Friends guest would be the most logical fix. Barring that, though, Joey should have a phone conversation with one of the Friends at the end of each show. Joey was never better than when he was playing off Chandler or Rachel. At least let us see that, even if it’s only one-sided.

  • Lindsay

    I have never seen a single episode of Joey – the whole concept of spin-offs in general suck. But we don’t need anything else to watch on Thursday nights anyways – I already have to stay up to watch stuff I missed on time shifting – and still miss out on one or two shows I would love to catch. Let’s move some stuff over on to Friday – there is a good place for Joey… a place where everyone is out and not watching tv anyways.

  • orlock

    Renegotiate thier contract. Replace the sitcom for a $50 million Joey romantic comedy movie. His pay is already $15.4 a year and with the whole cast, that’s like 3 years of show just in paying the actors. He gets his money and NBC might get their money back quicker than the slow bleed that already exists.

  • Charlie

    They can fix Joey by taking that dying horse out to pasture…

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