From its start in 1994, sitcom Friends won fans over with its relatable storylines, hilarious, characters and real-life problems. Now 25 years since its release, it continues to be one of the most popular and most-watched series in America!
“Since its premiere in September of 1994, Friends ruled the airwaves for a decade making us all dream that we could find a rent-controlled apartment in New York City across the hall from our best friends and hang out in a coffee shop all day,” says Natalie Morales in REELZ’s new docuseries, Friends: Behind Closed Doors.
The show starred Jennifer Aniston as “Rachel,” Courtney Cox as “Monica,” Lisa Kudrow as “Phoebe,” Matthew Perry as “Chandler,” Matt LeBlanc as “Joey,” and David Schwimmer as “Ross.”
“We hadn’t seen a comedy that real, right at its core, looked at this moment in time in young adult lives and we developed a couple scripts that went in that direction, and they were awful, they were absolutely awful,” says Warren Littlefield, the former president of NBC Entertainment.
It wasn’t until two New York writers came in with a script called Insomnia Cafe, that the concept of Friends started to gain traction.
“It was pitched my Marta Kauffman and David Crane, who were pretty much legends at this time in terms of their ability to pitch something in a room,” says Kelsey Miller, the author of I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends.
“Marta Kauffman and David Crane wanted to create a show that was based on their experiences when they got out of college and moved to New York and were kind of just figuring out life, so they put together a show about six people that were basically doing just that,” says Variety’s Danielle Turchiano.
Much of the show’s success came from its entertaining and relevant storylines which outlived the era they were created in and remain timeless.
“Well, it was wildly entertaining, and they hung out a lot at a coffee shop, and I was like ‘Huh, coffee shop. I don’t know a lot of people that go to coffee shops.’ And the world changed,” says Littlefield.
Friends: Behind Closed Doors airs Sunday April 28 at 9 ET / PT on REELZ.