Friends

1994, TV Show

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Looking at this TV season, I ...

Question: Looking at this TV season, I realized that the only new shows I watched even semiregularly were Bones (which isn't a smash hit) and Prison Break (which was my substitute for 24 and has been gone for so long that my excitement has waned). Last year Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey's Anatomy premiered. Does it seem to you like this year was missing any breakout hits, and if you agree with me that most of this season's new shows thus far were a letdown, is there anything that you think will make a late splash, like Grey's did last year? Answer: A year like the one that launched Housewives, Lost and eventually Grey's is exceptionally rare. Megahits are few and far between nowadays. (Before the 2004-2005 season began, I used the template of the 1994 season a decade earlier, in which Friends and ER were launched, to wonder if we'd ever see hits of that caliber again. Turns out the answer was yes.) This season we've had at least a few critical hits with solid followings (My Name read more

I know that you have finally ...

Zach Braff, Scrubs

Question: I know that you have finally given The Office the credit it is due, but there is still an argument that Scrubs should be paired with My Name Is Earl. Why does it have to be one or the other? I grew up with two full hours of NBC comedy hits on Thursday nights. Why can't NBC put together another Thursday-night powerhouse and have all three of the shows on Thursday? Answer: You would think, wouldn't you? (And more than a few weighed in with this very thought.) So let this be my latest (by no means my first) cry for NBC to have some common sense and decency and put Scrubs back where it belongs, on Thursdays, if not to close this season out — that seems too much to ask — then to jumpstart next season. The idea of Scrubs leading into an Earl-Office combo, with some unknown comedy filling the first half hour, is my idea of comedy heaven. Unfortunately, NBC has always had a tin ear for this sort of thing, and even in the best of days (the Cheers/Seinfeld/Frasier eras), there was ... read more

Is it just me or are TV ...

Question: Is it just me or are TV critics taking schadenfreude in seeing NBC's slipups and misses for the past few seasons, especially now, during the Olympics, and with Joey's dismal ratings. While it's true that success does breed some sort of contempt from advocates of rival networks, TV critics should always have an objective approach. However, highlighting and then further underlining NBC's failures borders on playground teasing. Answer: Maybe it looks like critics are kicking a network when it's down, but really, NBC has been a juicy target ever since it fouled its airwaves with Fear Factor, failed repeatedly to find an adequate comedy to replace Friends (most notoriously with the ill-fated Joey), cloned Law & Order to the point of absurdity, failed to adequately promote and protect gems like Ed and American Dreams through their multiseason (and still too brief) runs — again, the list goes on. And lately, with the The Book of Daniel debacle, the twice-a-week Apprentice disaster ... read more

MONICA GELLER GETS DIRTY

Friends alumna Courteney Cox is returning to series television, playing a muckraking tabloid-magazine editor — you know, the kind who persistently dogs Jennifer Aniston — in Dirt, a drama pilot for FX. Cox and hubby David Arquette are exec producers on the series. read more

Gilmore Girls He can riff and...

Gilmore GirlsHe can riff and banter with the best of Stars Hollow, but Mr. Ladies-Love-Logan missed out on the mother of all pop-culture references: "But we were on a break!" What up, Huntzberger? Too cool to channel your inner Ross Gellar? I was hoping Rory would be the one to make the Friends reference. (I love TV shout-outs. I'm hoping for a little Sopranos love once Season 6 starts up.) But that would have been funny. And, really, what's so funny about your boyfriend shagging half the bridal party? Even less funny: sending Rory right into that pretty little shark tank. The really, really disgusting part? Logan actually pretended to loathe those "moronic bridesmaids." I won't sit here and do a total told-you-so, 'cause that would be just plain smug and ob read more

FRIENDS. WHO NEEDS 'EM?

Last week's Dancing with the Stars beat Survivor: Panama — Exile Island in the Nielsen's, making it the first series since Friends' demise to outperform the reality juggernaut in a head-to-head contest. Dancing waltzed away with 20 million viewers, its highest numbers to date this season. Survivor only rustled up 19.2 mil. read more

Now that both Matthew Perry ...

Question: Now that both Matthew Perry and Steven Weber (and D.L. Hughley) have signed on to Aaron Sorkin's Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip, do you think NBC will give the show ER's current "must-see" Thursday time slot? After all, Perry (Friends) and Weber (Wings) are both former Thursday residents and many have suggested that perhaps ER finally needs a new night for its old age. Or do you think Studio 7 will get one of the vacated West Wing time slots (Sundays at 8 pm/ET or Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET)? Answer: I'm pretty awful at guessing network schedules, but I'm betting that, given what I imagine would be the comedy-drama tone of Sorkin's new show (more Sports Night than West Wing), it would be perfect for West Wing's old Wednesday-night slot — although Lost has become a juggernaut these last few seasons, so maybe it would be better off inheriting the fading Law & Order's time period. Sundays won't be an option, at least for the first half of the season, because of NBC's new football ... read more

FALL 2006: CASTING ABOUT

Joey has lost his gal pal: Per the Hollywood Reporter, Andrea Anders has left the shelved Friends spin-off to join Jason Ritter on CBS' The Class. Also, Jay Harrington (aka Desperate Housewives' Dr. Ron) has been cast on CBS' Capitol Hill comedy Sex, Power, Love & Politics, and Wendy Raquel Robinson has been tapped to star in UPN's (CW's?) Girlfriends spin-off, tentatively titled The Game. read more

Like you and many others, I ...

Question: Like you and many others, I am so thankful that Scrubs is back (and better than ever) after its inexcusable mistreatment by NBC, my former favorite network. I see that the ratings so far are decent but not spectacular. It's a little bittersweet because I have this sinking feeling that we may be seeing its last hurrah. I understand the argument that Scrubs is not a NBC-owned show, but still.... Anyway, Matt, what's your gut feeling about Scrubs' chances for renewal next season? And if it were to be canceled (shame on you, NBC), is there any possibility it would be picked up by another network? I know that's happened from time to time, with varying degrees of success. Your take? Answer: I almost never answer yes when asked what the chances are of a show moving from one network to another. That almost never happens. In the case of Scrubs, however, the possibility is much more likely, since ABC entertainment chief Steve McPherson used to run the studio (Touchstone) that developed ... read more

I know you in the TV world ...

Angela Lansbury, Murder, She Wrote

Question: I know you in the TV world frown on old fogies like us, but we've got a Murder, She Wrote question. Obviously, Jessica Fletcher was a writer on the show, but my friend says that's all she ever was. I say she was a teacher before that. Who's right? We're not betting people, but each of us would very much like to lord being right over the other one. Thank you for your time.


Answer: Before I get into that, Carole, allow me to distinguish between myself and those flighty showbiz folks. I am not of the TV world; I'm an outsider. And I call on my television powers to help those of all ages, not just those impertinent young 'uns with their too-loud music and too-low jeans.

That said, it's a shame you're not a bettin' woman because you could've gotten at least a free lunch out of this one. On the successful CBS series, wh read more

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Premiered: September 22, 1994, on NBC
Rating: None
User Rating: (368 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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