The One With Friends In The Spotlight - A Feature By Dave Christy and Melanie Newton (With Giveaway)
"Six of One". "Insomnia Cafe". "Friends Like Us". All of these were early working titles for the hit sitcom "Friends". You could call it a comedic match made in heaven-- if heaven was a television set. September 1994 would bring a relative group of unknowns together for a new show. This unlikely bunch already had a handful of failed shows between them, so all bets were being placed against them since they were all involved in the same show. This little show that could had a very powerful motor as the driving force behind it. The Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions team had previously brought us a 6season run of HBO's premiere comedy series "Dream On". Being a big fan of that series, as soon as I read that in the new fall lineup edition of TV Guide I was immediately hooked. I knew I had to check it out.
Starting its run in the Thursday at 8:30 slot, sandwiched between "Mad About You" and "Seinfeld", "Friends" was off to a great start raking in over 20 million viewers. Episode 1x07 "The One With The Blackout" is the one that sealed the deal for me. I was tuning in every week anyway but this one remains one of my faves in part of the Blackout Thursday promotion that ran through 3 of the 4 NBC sitcoms that night. It bounced around the Thursday night schedule about halfway through the season moving to 9:30 with the second part of 2 episode arc before becoming the anchor of "Must See TV" to kick off its second season the following year.
Thanks to the juggernaut known as "Friends", Thursday nights at 8:00 became known as the place that shows went to die. If you have a veteran show that you want a reason to cancel? Put it here, ratings will drop like a lead balloon. I actually felt bad for some new series that would have had good potential if they were given half a chance. You can't try out a brand-new series up against that line up. Remember, this is the early and mid-90's. No internet, no on demand, no DVR. If you didn’t watch it live, you missed it. The only chance you had was recording it on your VCR to watch later.
Hey, you know I'm a bonus features guy, right? DVDs, making ofs, interviews, deleted scenes, commentaries, excitement! Well, one excellent thing the "Friends" DVDs did, which I really think more shows and movies should do, is featured extended episodes. Yes, you aren't just getting the same episodes you already watched all season. Some of them added footage back in that had to be cut for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s only a few lines sometimes it can end up being a few minutes. This is also helpful if you have only watched it in syndication. You know they trim those to make more time for commercials, right? "The One With the Thumb" ended up cutting the line "Maybe it’s like a contest? Collect all five." Very memorable line and sorely missed when I re-watched that episode in syndication.
10 seasons and well over 200 episodes later, it had a great run. Personally, I think it kinda started to lull a little bit around Season 7 or 8 but came back through on a strong note on the other side.
Dave Christy loves horror, music, documentaries and more. He is also the co-runner of several fan based groups including Morningstars (THE Lucifer fan group also run by Melanie), and now is a member of the VIPers Spotlight Lounge team for Melanie's Muses. Other than "In The Spotlight" Features -check out his "31 Days Of Halloween Movies"
Melanie Here - The Code Word For This Article Is Friends! Make a note - Then Tune In Sunday For More Details!
Friends is a HUGE deal in this house. Even though the show went off the air before when Emily was only 5, that hasn't stopped her from binging, and rebinging every season! We often reference various episodes, and not just the super common ones either ... I mean come on ... I think EVERYONE knows PIVOT - Friends fan or not!
I can't really say when I started watched it exactly because I was living in England when the first seasons aired and I can assure you it was even harder then to keep up with what was popular in the U.S.
The first season my best friend Helen acquired for some reason on VHS. I can't even remember why, but we decided why the hell not ... and sat down and basically didn't get up other than for snack and bathroom breaks until we were done. I guess on some level I have always been a binger lol.
As Dave went over the history, I will pretty much leave it here - with the compilation video of the Friends Advent Calendar that we had on the live show last year - that we ran out of shows for - I think the video speaks volumes!
GIVEAWAY DETAILS & HOW TO ENTER!
Melanie's Muses will be giving away a "Friends" Prize Pack featuring a makeup bag, socks, and stickers - all sent in by Jennifer Rhodes!!
For your chance to win- leave a comment ON THIS POST ON THE WEBSITE (comments left on shares around other social media WILL NOT COUNT) -
Which Of The Friends Did You Like The Most?
The winner will be picked randomly from qualifying comments. Other comments about the article are very welcome but only entrants with the qualifying comments will go in the hat! What your answer is will not influence whether you go into the hat - Only that you answer the question!
Winner will be announced during the Live show on June 6th (and then posted here on the blog as well on June 7th. Full Rules Below!
Good luck everyone!