Wednesday, September 08, 2004

High hopes (and a poll for you) on Spinoff Eve 

I saw all 238 episodes of "Friends," so you could have probably guessed that I'll be tuned in to see my old pal Joey tomorrow night at 8.

Perhaps it's simply the fact that the odds are stacked against success, but the vast majority of reviews of "Joey" I've seen so far have been pretty darn positive (go to Google News and put in the word "Joey" if you want examples!). Aside from a couple of outright pans, they range from "It's not bad at all" to "It's the best new comedy out there." Now, given the sorry state of television comedies, that last statement probably isn't much of a compliment. Still, I'm feeling a bit more hopeful about the show's chances.

The determining factor, as it was with "Frasier," will be the supporting cast. We're already on board with, and rooting for, the main character. What matters is whether Drea DeMatteo - who was great on The Sopranos - can make us like her in a comedic role, and whether the other primary cast members are funny and appealing. The writing will be good: the pilot is co-written by Scott Silveri and Shana Goldberg-Meehan (also the Executive Producers) who wrote tons of classic Friends episodes. But writing isn't what really matters. After all, the writing on Friends wasn't inherently magical -- the cast was. When even lines that you would have scoffed at on a lame sitcom were delivered by those six actors, they were gold more often than not.

So.....here's a DanNation poll, in two parts.

Question 1: How long will "Joey" last?

a) 6 episodes or less
b) 7 to 13 episodes
c) a full season and that's it
d) it'll be a hit, or at least garner enough ratings to be renewed early for Fall 2005.
e) I hated "Friends" and I don't care.

My answer: It could very well be "D," but I'm a pessimist by nature and I'll let myself be pleasantly surprised. I'm going with "C."

Question 2: Where, precisely, will the show's pilot place in the weekly Nielsen ratings? My answer: 8.

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