Today in American History: May 6, 2004

Today in American History: May 6, 2004

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is one of the most iconic tv shows of the 1990's through the early 2000's. At 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on May 6, 2004, that familiar and loved theme song (“I’ll Be There For You” by the Rembrandts) played for the final time. About 51.1 million people tuned in for the final episode.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was created and executive-produced by Marta Kauffman and David Crane along with Kevin S. Bright. Its first episode ran on September 22, 1994. It ran for 10 years and a total of 236 episodes. Even though it was shot at the Warner Brothers studios in Burbank, California, the show took place in New York City's Greenwich Village. It's about six (almost unlikely) friends who struggle with the rollercoaster of young adult life while living in the big city. From almost the very  beginning F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was a cultural phenomenon. It ended up winning six Emmy Awards (including one for Outstanding Comedy Series). It even sparked hairstyles (like “the Rachel”), created catch phrases (like “How you doin?”) and turned its six cast members into everyday household names.

Surprisingly after all the hype and loyal mob of fans, the hour-long finale only drew two-thirds of the audience that other finales of long-running sitcoms like, Cheers (80.4 million) and Seinfeld (76.2 million) drew. The TV series finale that attracted the most watchers was actually M*A*S*H with 105 million tuning in.

Throughout the entire decade of it's run, the six stars always maintained a strong bond. They made sure that no one of them shined on screen over the others. They even negotiated their salaries together. To this day, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. continues to be a favorite, at least it is for me!

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