NBC (ended 2006)
It has to be Friends, there is just no comparison. If Joey had been a completely new show, I doubt wheter I would've liked it as much. Friends was a perfect show, with each episode awesome on its own, while Joey is flawed, to put it simply. Joey is just as lovable and they've actually made a commendable effort by making this spin off, because the real strenght of Friends-the show was the chemistry between the main cast. But at the end of the day, Joey can't be considered better than Friends in any way. I'm really glad Joey got to be the spin off, because I was never happy with the way they ended things for Joey. With Chandler joking about Joey growing old in his house.... it seemed like exactly what might've happened and it was a treat to watch Joey not getting a raw deal for a change. So if has to be the order of preferance, its:
Friends was definitely a better show, mainly because the jokes were more consistent and the characters better developed. I also think it helped that it was an ensemble show and they had at least three story lines an episode, whereas Joey is usually just focused on Joey himself and the others just walk on to chat to him for a couple of lines and then leave.
However, I think Joey could have developed and got better. I thought the second half of the second series was very funny, especially with Zach - I think that's what Joey needed, another guy best friend to hang out with.
I agree on the ending of Friends , being that they didn't give Joey a real ending. All his other friends were happy and he's the only one who hasn't anything left for him, so I think the spin-off was a perfect way for him to find his way.
I love Joey, and it should have gotten more seasons, also to see his old friends back, just like in Frasier when we saw characters from Cheers return so the audience could see how they were doing.
I cannot choose between these 2 shows, they're both great in their own way.