For Friends lovers, the story of 6 friends was more than enough to sustain the content of the plot with their individual and collective occurrences and experiences. However, the creation of one more friend was proposed to reach a larger audience, let’s see what happened with this.
Marta Kauffman and David Crane, creators and producers of the hit NBC sitcom, Friends, had considered adding another main character in the story of these 6 friends, with the intention of capturing and expanding the demographic reach of their audiences. At the beginning of the series, they did not expect the success that Friends would have and thought that it would only last a couple of seasons.
Kauffman confessed that she had a deep connection with a particular character but that they all had a unique affection: “Because we created them, I feel a connection with each of the characters; There was a part of me and David in them, but the one I identified with the most was Monica (Courteney Cox).”
In addition, she commented in an interview that “The fact that after so many years we are still here and that the program is still something relevant, it is very exciting.”
For NBC, it was necessary to have a different look and plot with the six actors, who were each perfect for their roles. However, an additional character was chosen, the network wanted “Pat, The Cop” (Pat, the police) to join the main cast, but the creators decided that it was not convenient because it did not fit with the initial vision they had of the movie. series and tried to convince the network to drop the idea.
Since the story in Friends was based on twenty-somethings living their lives in New York, the network thought that its audience would be from a limited age group. NBC’s goal was to add a much older cast member to the friends, who would serve as a father figure to the other six. So the producers reinvented themselves and proposed to present the parents of the characters of Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Leonard Green (Ron Leibman), Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica, Judy Geller (Cristina Pickles), Jack Geller (Elliott Gould ), among other secondary actors.
“The writers made a good-faith attempt, even casting the part, but they hated the resulting script so much that they begged NBC to drop the idea. They promised that if NBC killed off Pat the Cop, they would give all six of its leads the figure of parents in notable supporting roles and finding older guest stars to appeal to a more mature audience. NBC gave their permission and Pat the Cop was no more,” reveals the book Generation Friends.
Although many potential stories in Friends were interesting, some were always present such as cafe manager Gunther (James Michael Tyler), Chandler’s irritating-voiced girlfriend (Matthew Perry), Janice (Maggie Wheeler), and even Chandler’s boyfriend. Monica who was much older than her, Dr. Richard Burke (Tom Selleck), didn’t need to include a seventh friend, especially given the way the six connected, on and off screen.