Friends is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which ran on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, The series revolves around a group of friends in the area of Manhattan, New York City. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The original executive producers were Crane, Kauffman and Kevin Bright, with numerous others being promoted in later seasons. Kauffman and Crane began developing Friends under the title Insomnia Cafe in November 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, 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 audience. After ten seasons on the network, the series finale was promoted by NBC, and viewing parties were organized around the US. The series finale (airing on May 6, 2004) was watched by 52.5 million American viewers, making it the fourth most-watched series finale in television history.
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 was also very successful in the ratings, consistently ranking in the top ten in the final primetime ratings. Friends has made a large cultural impact. The Central Perk coffee house that had featured prominently in the series has inspired various imitations throughout the world. The series continues in syndication worldwide. All 10 seasons are on DVD. The spin-off series Joey was created to follow up with the series after the finale.
David Schwimmer portrays Ross Geller, a paleontologist working at a museum of Prehistoric History, and later a professor of paleontology at New York University. Ross is involved in an on-off relationship with Rachel throughout the series. Ross also has three failed marriages during the series, which include Rachel, Emily, and his lesbian ex-wife Carol, who is also the mother of his son, Ben. Before being cast in Friends, Schwimmer played minor characters in The Wonder Years and NYPD Blue.
Jennifer Aniston portrays Rachel Green, a fashion enthusiast and Monica Geller's best friend from high school. Rachel and Ross Geller are involved in an on again off again relationship throughout the series. Rachel's first job is as a waitress at the coffee house Central Perk, but she later becomes an assistant buyer at Bloomingdale's and a buyer at Ralph Lauren in season five. At the end of season eight, Rachel and Ross have a child together, which she names Emma. Aniston had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast in Friends.
Matt LeBlanc portrays Joey Tribbiani, a struggling actor and food lover who becomes famous for his role on Days of our Lives as Dr. Drake Ramoray. Joey is a womanizer with many girlfriends throughout the series, and develops a crush on his friend Rachel in season eight. Before his role on Friends, LeBlanc appeared as a minor character in the sitcom Married... with Children, and as a main character in its spin-offs, Top of the Heap and Vinnie & Bobby.
Lisa Kudrow portrays Phoebe Buffay, an eccentric masseuse and musician.Phoebe is known for her self-written guitar songs (which are commonly viewed as awful due to the fact that she is tone-deaf) and for being ditsy yet street smart. In the last season, she marries a character named Mike Hannigan, played by Paul Rudd. Kudrow previously played Ursula Buffay on Mad About You, and reprised the dual role of twin sister Ursula as a recurring character during severa l episodes of Friends. Before her role on Friends, Kudrow was an office manager and researcher for her father, a headache specialist.
Matthew Perry portrays Chandler Bing, an executive in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration for a large multi-national corporation. Chandler quits his job and becomes a junior copywriter at an advertising agency during season nine. Chandler is known for his sarcastic sense of humor, and marries longtime friend Monica. Like Aniston, Perry had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast.
Courteney Cox Arquette portrays Monica Geller, the mother hen of the group, known for her obsessive-compulsive and competitive nature. Monica is often jokingly teased for having been an extremely overweight child by the others, especially her brother Ross. Monica is a chef who changes jobs often throughout the show, and marries longtime friend Chandler Bing in season seven. Cox had the highest profile career of the main actors when she was initially cast, having appeared in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Family Ties