Twenty-five years ago — on September 22, 1994—Friends made their NBC debut, and the face of American sitcoms changed forever.
In addition to converting its six stars – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – into household names and ultimately became some of the highest-paid actors in tv history.
Here are some facts about FRIENDS, many of you didn’t know about it.
FRIENDS was first named Insomnia Cafe
Friends co-creator David Crane and Marta Kauffman had written a seven-page pitch for a new sitcom named Insomnia Café in the early 1990s. The plot itself was quite different from what came to be known as Friends, as well as the different titles. Ross and Rachel, for example, were not the main relationship; rather Joey and Monica would have been love interests.
The title became Friends Like Us after NBC bought the pilot. NBC president Warren Littlefield came up with another title, Across the Hall, which was also considered. The title had switched to Six of One once again by the time they shot it. They had finally landed on simply Friends when the show premiered on September 22, 1994.
Courtney Cox would have played the role of Rachel
Courteney Cox was probably the most famous cast member before the show premiered. She was known for numerous commercials, plus “Dancing in the Dark” music video by Bruce Springsteen. Originally the Friends producers wanted her to play Rachel but she wanted for Monica ‘s role because she liked the “solid” character.
FRIENDS was filmed in front of live audience
Shooting a Friends’ episode was a lengthy process, typically lasting five hours, with multiple takes per scene and 20 minutes to change sets between scenes. The show was still filmed before a live audience composed of 300 fans. And so the cast enjoyed it.
The cast refused to work until equally paid
Every Friends cast member made about $22,000 per episode. However, each actor was earning a slightly different salary by the second season. In addition, all six cast members refused to work in 1997until they had all earned an equal pay of $100,000 per season. That tactic succeeded and every cast member made $1 million per season.
Jennifer Anniston almost quitted the show
Undoubtedly by the time the series ended Jennifer was Friends’ most popular cast member. Moreover, her husband, Brad Pitt back then, did not attempt to sabotage her status as a celebrity either. After the fame came the rumors that Jennifer was nearly responsible for leaving the show close to the end.