Friends

1994, TV Show

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Can you tell me why there are ...

Question: Can you tell me why there are so many talent-based shows this summer? Especially on Wednesdays. I looked in the listings sections, and there are at least four talent shows at 8 pm/ET on Wednesday. Don't people know that if they shove the same thing down our throats, we'll eventually get tired of it? I say we cut it back to only one show on Wednesdays at 8: So You Think You Can Dance. What's your take on this phenomenon? Answer: It is ridiculous, isn't it? But cloning comes naturally to the networks. Look at the glut of procedural dramas. Think back to all of the Friends knockoffs. If something works, all of the networks want to get in the game, innovation and creativity be damned. And nothing works on a grander scale than American Idol, so why be surprised when a tidal wave of amateur-hour talent contests invades the lineup, especially in the summer? It's almost comical when you see Dance go up against America's Got Talent, Rock Star: Supernova and now The One, all on the same ... read more

I have a comment on a ...

Question: I have a comment on a topic that I've never seen you address, and I could be the only one who feels this way. With so many new shows in the fall, it's really hard sometimes to keep them all straight, and the names of the shows often make this more difficult. They're not very distinctive! Last season, there were three sci-fi shows premiering, and they all had one-word names: Invasion, Threshold and Surface. I could never keep straight which one was on which network, and even though I had read your reviews and knew that you endorsed one especially, I could never remember which one. For this coming fall I've counted eight new series with one-word titles, and none of them are very distinguishable (Vanished, Standoff, Justice, Smith, Jericho, Shark, Traveler, Kidnapped). Just a note to the networks: If I need a visual aid to remember which shows I want to check out, I'm not likely to watch — unless they become hits and the name is repeated enough to remind me. Not a very good ... read more

This TV Season's Winners and Losers!

Patrick Dempsey of Grey's Anatomy, Matt LeBlanc of Joey

Put a fork in the 2005-06 TV season. For the fourth straight year, CBS was crowned the most watched network, with an average of 12.6 million viewers per week. Fox was able to crow as well — for the second year in a row it was No. 1 among viewers ages 18 to 49, the group most coveted by advertisers. ABC didn't come up with a new hit, but its audience grew as Grey's Anatomy, Lost and Desperate Housewives remained hot, and Dancing with the Stars read more

Thursday-Night Lights
The networks get ready for a prime-time war

Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal

The networks and ad buyers on Madison Avenue are deep in negotiations over the price of commercial time for next fall's prime-time schedule, and at least a third of their $9 billion take (that is, the networks hope it'll be that much) will be spent on Thursday night. That explains why so many good shows this fall will be airing on the same night. It's looking like one of the great network-scheduling steel-cage matches in history: Grey's Anatomy vs. CSI vs. Deal or No Deal all battling it out at 9 pm/ET. ABC could have gotten higher ratings if it left read more

The Results Are In
A look at the winners and losers of the 2005-2006 season

Hugh Laurie, House

Put a fork in the recent TV season — it officially ended on May 24, so now it's time to tally the results. For the fourth straight year, CBS was crowned the most-watched network, with an average of 12.6 million viewers per week. While the network didn't score any smash hits, new shows such as Criminal Minds, The Unit and Ghost Whisperer were solid ratings performers. Fox was able to crow as well: for the second year in a row it was No. 1 among viewers aged 18 to 49, the group most coveted by advertisers. But this year the network won the demo race wi read more

Falling Up
The nets reveal their strategies for next season

Brad Garrett, 'Til Death

After attending the networks' upfront presentations all week, the Biz has this analysis of the coming season. (Click here for next fall's grid and new-show descriptions.) CWYou've got to wonder what went wrong in CW's new-series development process if the network had to bring back 7th Heaven — even though the show lost a reported $16 million for WB this past season. But the decision to have CW's inaugural schedule made up of established shows from WB and UPN may end up being a blessing. Many of the shows have small but rabid followings, and promoting new shows on a new network will be tough. The fans of shows like One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars will track  them down on their own. Viewers in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that CW targets don't watch networks, they watch shows. (According to recent survey, only one in four 1 read more

A Time to Laugh
The comedy pilots that might be ready for prime time this fall

Tina Fey

It's crunch time in the network scheduling rooms, as many questions are being asked about next season. Will Grey's Anatomy go to Monday nights? Will Lost start in November, to cut down on repeats during the season? Is Wayne Brady getting another show? The answers will come next week. We hear there wasn't a lot of laughing during the executive screenings of most of the season's comedy pilots, but here's what industry insiders say are the hottest of that tepid lot. (Click here to read about the drama-pilot buzz.) NBC: The Peacock network is only expected to add two sitcoms. One is the still-untitled show from Saturday Night Live head writer Tina Fey — a workplace comedy set behind the scenes of a read more

Criminally Good
We're mesmerized by these mobsters

It started with a bang: Uncle Junior popping Tony in a fit of dementia. But most of the fireworks in this brilliant sixth season of The Sopranos have been more emotional than visceral, a psychologically riveting study of the corruption (of soul and spirit) that taints anyone within whacking distance. That long list includes poor Gene, the hit man who hanged himself; hapless Artie Bucco, whose restaurant and psyche are in tatters; jailed Johnny Sack, whose daughter's wedding ended in his tearful public humiliation and loss of esteem; and Tony's delinquent son A.J., who can't live up to anyone's expectations and whose attempted revenge hit on Junior was truly pathetic (the kid can't even vomit like a man). "It's not in your nature," Tony told A.J. in one of the season's many wrenching scenes of anguish and regret. Not that there hasn't been comic rel read more

Was This TV Season Harsh to New Shows?

Reunion, Love Monkey and Commander in Chief

Reunion. Threshold. E-Ring. Invasion. Emily's Reasons Why Not. Love Monkey. Commander in Chief. Heist. What do these shows have in common? They all debuted at some point during this soon-to-wrap TV season, yet each saw their run either cut surprisingly short or handicapped by irregular scheduling. Was 2005-06 the worst year ever to sample a new show? Were the networks especially hasty in deciding the fate of freshman series? TVGuide.com consulted a panel of experts with unique points of view to examine this strange little season gone by. Are New Shows Getting Short Shrift?Jeff Bader, executive vice president of ABC entertainment programming and scheduling, dismisses the suggestion that prime time is a crueler-than-ever proving ground for new series. " read more

Fire Dancer Burned by Survivor Alliance

Courtney Marit, Survivor: Panama

Falling victim to her tribe mates' harsh personal feelings about her, Courtney Marit was the 11th person to pack her bags and say goodbye on CBS' Survivor: Panama—Exile Island (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET). Saying that the vote to oust her was "shocking," the California-based performer realized that her status as a potential threat going into the final two resulted in the decision to send her home. TVGuide.com grilled the former Casaya member about her finale voting strategy, her on-screen portrayal and her honest take on the remaining survivors.

TVGuide.com: What has reaction been like since your elimination episode aired?
Courtney Marit:
My family is proud of me. I did the best I could and they've [provided] full support. I got a barrage of calls from my friends. I live in an artists community — we're all artists read more

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Premiered: September 22, 1994, on NBC
Rating: None
User Rating: (380 ratings)
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Premise: A classic sitcom that reflected the lives of six twentysomething friends: three men and three women, living in New York. Sometimes touching and often hilarious, it addressed universal themes like falling in---or out of---love, finding a job and dealing with (as well as becoming) parents, and inspired numerous friends-themed knockoffs, none of which conveyed the warmth and humor of the original. A spin-off, `Joey,' featuring Matt LeBlanc's character, was slated to debut in the fall of 2004.

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