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Sep. 9 2007, Published 11:49 a.m. ET

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Sept. 9, 2004

Frasier it was not.

Still trying to hang onto every last ounce of Friends success, NBC launched the poorly constructed spin off Joey three years ago to high expectations and fanfare, to which it ultimately failed to live up.

Inheriting its parental "Must-See TV" time slot of Thursday nights at 8 p.m., Joey bowed to an opening night of 18.6 million viewers, good enough to be deemed a "hit" and the "No. 1 new comedy of the season."

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That label is a tad misleading, as it's easy to be No. 1 even as your ratings slide when there's virtually no competition.

It seems people weren't as interested in following the uneven trajectory of Joseph Francis Tribbiani's career as they were in watching six people hang out in a coffee shop during the workday.

Or maybe it also has to do with the show just... not being good?

In any event, the comedy still managed two People's Choice Awards, a Golden Globe nomination and a second season renewal despite a season-ending ranking of an un-Friends-esque of 40.

Ratings got even more anemic its sophomore year — it got so bad that eventually Joey quietly faded away into the night without so much as a "How you doin'?"

Adding insult to injury? Unlike, say, Just Shoot Me before it or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip after it, NBC never burned off its remaining eight episodes.

Maybe they like Matthew Perry better.

Where is Matt LeBlanc anyway?

By Joyce Eng

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