Flashback Fall TV 1994: Friends [WATCH VIDEO]
“Friends” first went on the air on Sept. 22, 1994 during NBC’s Must-See-TV Thursday block, where all their top-rating comedies aired. The series made huge television stars of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Le Blanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. Their group was the first to command a salary of $1 million per episode, the highest paid for TV stars. Read on for more details about “Friends.”
Twenty years ago, five shows debuted on network television that created a lasting impact with viewers. As we begin Fall TV 2014, let’s take a look back at these classics in our flashback to Fall TV 1994.
From the beginning, “Friends” was already marked for success. But nobody probably expected it to explode the way it did, spanning a global success that saw the series grow among fans in Europe, South America, Australia and Asia.
The show followed the story of six young individuals living in New York. It revolved around their dating life and relationships, their struggles at work, and their friendship in general. Moreover, fans followed the series for the on-going development of the relationships between Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), or Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry), as well as the misadventures of Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Joey (Matt Le Blanc).
During its ten-year run (from 1994-2004), the show featured notable guest stars that included Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams and Bruce Willis. The show, which was consistently on Top 20 in the ratings, received numerous awards during its airing, most notable of which was the Outstanding Comedy Series win at Emmy’s in 2002.
On the night “Friends” ended, nearly 52 million households in the United States tuned in to say goodbye to Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey. When “Friends” was no longer on the air, nearly every other comedy series that had friendship as its main theme aimed to become the next “Friends.” But no other show has come close to what “Friends achieved all those years. Even after the series has ended, it still can be watched today on television via syndication, in many countries everywhere.
Where Are They Now: The Stars of “Friends”
- Jennifer Aniston concentrated with doing movies and expanding her range since leaving “Friends” and television in 2004. Her role as Rachel Greene on the series, however, will probably be the role she will be most identified with.
- Courteney Cox went into producing TV shows, some of which she starred herself, such as “Dirt” (2007-2008) and “Cougar Town,” which will close in 2015. The actress actively guest starred in the other comedy series that some of the “Friends” cast were involved with.
- Lisa Kudrow also got into TV production with the unique documentary series “Who Do You Think You Are?” Last season, she was a guest star on “Scandal,” and this fall, we’ll see the revival of her show “The Comeback,” which first aired in 2005. She also has “Web Therapy” on Showtime, which will soon air its fourth season.
- Matt Le Blanc did the “Friends” spinoff “Joey” immediately after the former show ended. Later, he got the part playing himself in the Emmy-nominated series “Episodes,” which airs on Showtime. The show will be on its fourth season when it returns in 2015.
- Matthew Perry has tried several television shows after “Friends,” but none of these took off after a season or two: “Studio 60” on NBC in 2006, “Mr. Sunshine” on ABC in 2011, and “Go On” also on NBC in 2013. Perry also did a guest appearance on “The Good Wife” in 2013. He will soon star in “The Odd Couple” for CBS in 2015.
- David Schwimmer has remained active behind the scenes and did projects as a director for his “Friends” co-stars’ TV shows.
Do you have your own top 10 moments on “Friends”? Who do you think was the funniest? Are you wishing for a reunion? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Friends Soundstage/John