Before there was the Friends spinoff series Joey which lasted from September 2004 to August 2006, there was evidently another spinoff title that almost came to be. However, Matt LeBlanc wasn’t initially set to be the star of this long-lost series. Instead, a different star was to be the face of the popular American sitcom’s next installment–Jennifer Aniston.
Why was Aniston offered her own spinoff before LeBlanc was, and why didn’t the series see the light of day in the end? We tell you everything to know here.
Jennifer Aniston almost had her own Friends spinoff
Screen Rant reports that Friends producer Kevin S. Bright once revealed there was to be a Rachel Green spinoff shortly after the 1994 title took its final bow in 2004. The series made the most sense as Rachel was not only a fan favorite both back then and to this very day, but because she and her on-screen partner, Ross Geller, arguably, had the most story to delve into post-Friends.
Though seeing Ross and Rachel navigate life with kids would have made a great series for audiences to watch every week, in the end, Aniston decided it was best to chase after other career opportunities to expand her horizons. Subsequently, Aniston went on to do her fair share of films. Derailed, Rumor Has It, and Friends with Money, to name a few.
Following the cancellation of the potential Rachel Green title, Bright and other producers believed a Monica Geller and Chandler Bing series would suffice, but this also didn’t come to be.
“We liked the idea of a Monica and Chandler series,” Bright reportedly said at the time. “But everyone at the end, strangely enough, while they were grateful for doing the show, they didn’t want to play those parts anymore.”
Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry moving on from the series left Joey Tribbiani as the next Friends character that a spinoff could focus on. Fortunately for producers, Matt LeBlanc had no problem reprising his role, but unfortunately for them, audiences of the show couldn’t get into a spinoff series surrounding his character for various reasons that include the fans not being “familiar” with the Joey they saw in the 2004 title.
Bright stated of the failed show:
"“I think we tried to present to the audience a Joey they didn’t know. Trying to develop a relationship and hang out with nerds. Even I don’t know what Joey was doing in that show, but it wasn’t what the fans were familiar with so it was not successful. We had hopes it was going to be Frasier but it didn’t turn out that way.”"
All 10 seasons of Friends are now streaming on HBO Max, but unfortunately for those who want to check out the spinoff that did happen, Joey is not available on the platform.