Friends (stylized as F•R•I•E•N•D•S) is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The original executive producers were Crane, Kauffman and Kevin S. Bright, with numerous others being promoted in later seasons.
Kauffman and Crane began developing Friends under the title Insomnia Cafe in November/December 1993. They presented the idea to Bright, with whom they had previously worked, and together they pitched a seven-page treatment of the series to NBC. After several script rewrites and changes, including a second title change to Friends Like Us, the series was finally named Friends and premiered on NBC's coveted Thursday 8:30 pm timeslot. Filming for the series took place at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California in front of a live studio audience. The series finale (the 236th episode), airing on May 6, 2004, was watched by 51.1 million American viewers, making it the fourth most watched series finale in television history and the most watched episode of the decade.
Friends received positive reviews throughout its run, becoming one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. The series won many awards and was nominated for 63 Primetime Emmy Awards. The series, an instant hit from its debut, was also very successful in the ratings, consistently ranking in the top ten in the final primetime ratings. Many critics now regard it as one of the finest shows in television history, including TV Guide, which ranked it No. 21 on their list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time. In 1997, the episode "The One with the Prom Video" was ranked No. 100 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time. The series made a large cultural impact, which continues today. The Central Perk coffee house that was featured prominently in the series has inspired various imitations throughout the world. The series continues in syndication worldwide. All ten seasons are available on DVD. The spin-off series Joey was created to follow up with the series after the finale.
Famous quotes containing the word Friends:
“I still think I ought to leave Washington well alone. I have many friends in that city who can of their own motion speak confidently of my ways of thinking and acting. An authorized representative could remove some troubles that you now see, but only think of yet greater troubles he might create.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)