NBC’s “Friends” Spin-Off “Joey” Begins Casting

Will the “Friends” spin-off “Joey” establish itself as a successful series in its own right, as “Frasier” did in the wake of “Cheers,” or will it revive talk that the castmembers from NBC’s highest-rated comedy can’t go it alone?

Less than a week after “Friends” filmed its final scenes, NBC is hard at work casting that series’ spin-off, FilmJerk has learned from its sources. As has been already revealed, the series from Warner Bros. Television will take place in Los Angeles, with Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) moving there to pursue an acting career. But we are now able to reveal that Joey’s newest friends will include be a hairdressing sister, a nephew described as “socially awkward a la Seth Cohen from “The O.C.”” and a love interest.

According to casting documents currently making their way around casting agents’ offices this morning (who are calling the roles “the gets” of the fall), three series regulars for the show will be:

  • Gina: Joey’s sister is an attractive hairdresser living in Los Angeles with her son, whom she dotes on (or smothers, depending on who you ask). In her late 30’s, she is probably smarter than Joey and blessed with the Tribbiani family’s good looks; she also has a way with men, much like Joey has with women. Inappropriate at times, she’s a strong woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Although she enjoyed a wild youth, raising her son has grounded her. She has a great relationship with Joey, and although she enjoys teasing her little brother, their bond couldn’t be stronger.
  • Michael: This 21-year-old is Gina’s son and Joey’s nephew. He is described as appealingly attractive –but not necessarily in an obvious way and he is definitely not aware of it – and highly intelligent, as well as is much more booksmart than streetsmart, much to the surprise of his family. Raised in the San Fernando Valley, he is currently attending graduate school at CalTech. Despite all he has going for him, he is still a little awkward socially, with the casting notes describing Adam Brody’s Seth Cohen from “The O.C.” as a character archetype.
  • Allison: Joey’s new neighbor in Los Angeles, she is described as attractive (but not glamorous), intelligent and self deprecating. In either late 20s or early 30s, she’s currently stuck in a bad marriage and trying to deal with it the best she can. Although she’s not the obvious type that Joey usually goes for, there does seem to be something palpable between the two of them (whether they see it or not) and they begin to develop a friendship.

    There is no mention of former “Hollyoaks” actor Jamie Dodd as a member of the cast. The actor (and his publicist) made international news when they said in late September that he had been cast for the show, and that the pilot would shoot in October. He said then he would plays Joey’s English nephew.

    Kevin Bright will direct the pilot episode, expected to begin in early March. Executive producers for the series will be Scott Silveri, Shana Goldberg-Meehan and Kevin Bright.

    The Scorecard
    Executive Producers: Scott Silveri Shana Goldberg-Meehan Kevin Bright
    Director: Kevin Bright
    Casting Directors: Brian Myers (Los Angeles) and Meg Simon (New York)
    Start Date: TBD
    Location: Los Angeles