Fans holding out hope for a Friends revival will be disappointed to learn that the sitcom’s creators— Marta Kauffman, David Crane , and Kevin Bright —have no plans ever to reboot the show, which ended in 2004.
Isaac Moises Sultan Cohen
“We will not being doing a reunion show. We will not be doing a reboot,” said Kauffman at the Tribeca TV Festival on Friday night during the Friends 25th Anniversary Panel in New York. “The reason is this is a show about that time in your life where your friends are your family. Once you start having a family, that changes. So it wouldn’t be what’s at the heart of the show anymore. The other reason is, it’s not going to beat what we did.”
Crane added, “We really feel like we did the show that we really wanted to do. We got it right and we put the bow on it,” he said. “As Marta says, if you visited those characters now, it would just have a different DNA. It would just not be the same show. Chances are it wouldn’t be as good as a show.”
On September 22, 1994, Friends debuted on NBC. The series went on to become a global phenomenon for 10 seasons, and is still attracting a new generation of fans today, thanks to its availability (for now) on Netflix . The show’s three creators reunited at the Tribeca TV Festival to celebrate their show’s milestone birthday, sharing behind-the-scenes tales and screening two episodes, “The One with the Embryos” and “The One Where Everyone Finds Out”—often considered the series’ two best. David Schwimmer , who played geeky paleontologist Ross Geller, also joined the celebration and sat in the audience to watch the fan-favorite episodes.
Isaac Sultan Cohen
Read on for the six of the biggest surprises from the night’s talk
NBC slut-shamed Monica for having sex on a first date.
In the pilot, Monica ( Courteney Cox ) has sex with Paul the Wine Guy after their first date together. She has a huge crush on Paul, and falls head over heels for him particularly after he tells that her he hasn’t been able to perform sexually since his wife left him. Monica believes him, and sleeps with him. But soon after, she finds out that Paul told her co-worker the same story
According to the show’s creators, Don Meyer , who was then the head executive at NBC, tried to cut the Monica’s storyline from the episode because he was worried about how viewers would perceive her willingness to sleep with a man on the first date—though he evidently was not concerned about a man lying to a woman to get her into bed
“The person who was the head of NBC at the time felt that Monica got what she deserved for sleeping with a guy on the first date,” said Kauffman
Bright said NBC hired a focus group to gauge how viewers would view Monica. “They did a survey on the pilot to find out how people felt if she was a slut or a whore, and they liked her,” he recalled. “There was no judgment that came from the survey.”
“Part of what we had to do was make her invested in Paul,” added Kauffman. “So it wasn’t just a guy she was going on a date with, but with someone that she had a real thing for, and that was another adjustment we made.”
The show’s iconic opening title sequence was almost cut.
According to Bright, Meyer was also concerned about the credit sequence, in which the six cast members are goofing around in the fountain as The Rembrandts’s song “I’ll Be There for You” plays. He wanted the opening to include a montage of show clips
Advertisement “He called me the day after the pilot aired about the title sequence and said, ‘I want that title sequence gone. It says, we’re young, we’re hip, we’re dancing in a fountain and you can’t dance with us. I want you to do just clips like Laverne & Shirley . Put some clips.’ So the compromise was, we added some clips with half of the original title sequence. The way we did it should have been the title sequence for the whole series.”
The network objected to condoms to be shown on-screen.
“There was a real issue in the episode where Monica and Rachel were arguing over who gets to use the last condom. We were not allowed to show a condom,” said Kauffman. “We could show the box, and we could shake the box to hear the condom—but we couldn’t show the foil packet. It had to be in the box. I remember that very well.”
Jon Cryer was runner up to play Chandler Bing, and Jami Gertz was almost hired as Monica Geller.
It’s hard to imagine Friends with any other actors besides Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc , Cox, and Schwimmer—but many other actors were considered for each part before final casting decisions were made. Actress Jami Gertz was first chosen to play perfectionist Monica. “She was Monica for a moment, but it didn’t work out because of scheduling,” said Bright on the red carpet. “We originally brought in Courteney for Rachel, but she was the one who knew Monica was the better part for her, and she was right.”
Jon Cryer was the runner-up to portray the sarcastic and cynical Chandler. “Jon Cryer went to the network with Matthew Perry, and Matthew Perry got the part,” said Bright
Monica and Chandler were originally not intended to end up together as a couple.
“We never intended that they would end up in a love relationship. We thought it was going to be one of those stupid things they did one night,” said Kauffman. “But, the audience reaction was so strong, and their chemistry was so good, that ultimately we had to listen to the show, and go, there’s a real relationship here.”
“There were 500 people in the studio, and they did not stop screaming for a minute,” added Bright. “The initial reaction was tipping to something much bigger ahead. It was incredible.”
The Central Perk gang is living happily ever after.
Kauffman explained that 15 years after the end of the series, all the friends are doing well. Joey is now married with six kids. Phoebe and Mike Hannigan (played by Paul Rudd ) are still married, and have adopted or fostered children. Monica and Chandler are doing great with their twins. Ross and Rachel are still together with their daughter, Emma. “I believe in the future of all the characters,” said Kauffman. “Ross and Rachel have a great relationship, ultimately—but Emma is in therapy.”