Arguably one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, Friends has a history of being in the limelight. When the series ended in 2004, after a hugely successful 10-year run, fans were devastated. Over 51 million people tuned in nationwide to watch the final episode, the last of 236 total.
Robert Bianco notably commented on the finale in USA Today in 2004. “It may have been impossible for any one episode to live up to the hype and expectations built up around the Friends finale, but this hour probably came as close as fans could have reasonably hoped. Ultimately, the two-hour package did exactly what it was supposed to do. It wrapped up the story while reminding us why we liked the show and will miss it.”
During its lifetime, Friends was nominated for 63 Primetime Emmy Awards and won six. It consistently ranked in the top 10 TV shows while it was on the air, and episodes continue to be watched, again and again, on Blu-ray and DVD.
It seems fans don’t want to let go of their favorite fictional Manhattan friends, and it’s no wonder that talk of a Friends reunion or movie surfaces frequently. Rumors have been circulating and subsequently being squashed for years now.
In July 2008, The Telegraph confidently reported “The cast are now reported to have signed up for a movie version, produced by Warner Bros, with filming scheduled to start within the next 18 months,” citing an anonymous source. Within that same article, Lisa Kudrow, who played the quirky Phoebe in Friends, said “As soon as we wrapped [the TV series], there were rumors about a movie – started by I don’t know who – but they’ve never been true,” she said. “It would have to be done by the people who created the show, and no-one has made them interested enough to write it.”
In November 2012, Matthew Perry tweeted that there is “zero truth to the rumor,” that a Friends movie is in the works. Not six months later, the co-creator of the show, Martha Kauffman, found it necessary to speak out against the rumors herself. E! Online reported she said “I’m going to clear this up right now – no, it’s not happening!” She reportedly went on to say, “Friends was about that time in your life when your friends are your family and once you have a family, there’s no need anymore. I’d rather people go, ‘Oh, please! Please!’ than ‘I can’t believe you did that. It was horrible.'”
Kudrow has again spoken up about the false nature of the rumors, this time in an interview with CNN. “There was never a Friends movie. Ever. So I’ve always known it’s not happening.” Speaking on Kaufman’s previously given statement on the rumors, Kudrow added, “The creators have put them to rest. NBC has. I don’t know who else needs to say, “It’s really not happening.””
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