Why NBC execs didn’t originally think Friends would be successful

1998 The Cast in Year 4 of Friends
1998 The Cast in Year 4 of Friends /

A major theme of NBC’s hit comedy series Friends is that even on your worst day, your friends will be there to have your back and comfort you. According to series co-creator Marta Kauffman, this genial attitude was key to the show’s success.

Kauffman, along with co-creator David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright, sat down with TODAY back in Sept. 2019 to discuss the show and reflect on its success. The trio had plenty of fun behind-the-scenes secrets to share, like the fact that apparently Matt LeBlanc was “on his last $11” when he got the part of Joey Tribbiani.

According to Kauffman, part of what made the show prosper is that the characters were so genuine. “The show is comfort food,” she explained. “It’s warm, it’s inviting. You want those people in your house.”

You can watch the full video here.

However, executives weren’t always sure that the show would be a hit, let alone last ten seasons. “When we first sold the show, there was some apprehension about having a show that was all about people who were in their 20s,” said Crane. “Where are the older characters? Do we need other demographics? … And we went, ‘No. Everybody has either experienced this or it’s aspirational.'”

He added, “Even though the characters are all the same age, everyone could connect with it in some way.”

Makes you wonder what Friends would have been like if the characters had been older, or different people entirely. Thank goodness the show ended up the way it did, and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Monica (Courteney Cox), Ross (David Schwimmer), and Chandler (Matt LeBlanc) will always be there for you if you want to watch some reruns.

All 10 seasons of Friends, along with the reunion special Friends: The Reunion, are currently streaming on HBO Max. Keep up with all of our continued Friends news and opinion coverage right here on Hidden Remote.

Next. 10 great family Christmas movies (and where to stream). dark

This article originally appeared on Floor8 and is written by Mae Harrington O’Neill.