Courteney Cox has indicated why so many guest stars on Friends were fired. Friends defined a certain sitcom era with its twenty-something characters living quirky Manhattan lives over ten seasons and 235 episodes. Friends outlasted NBC’s other mega-hit sitcom, Seinfeld.
That doesn’t mean Seinfeld doesn’t still have global fans, but Friends is still more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Given the series’ tight cast and endearing characters, it appears that this formula for success came naturally to the series. Throughout its 10-year run, Friends had its share of ups and downs, with everything from substance abuse to wage disputes threatening to derail the show. Friends ended on a high note for viewers, and looking back, it’s clear that much went into keeping the show’s quality high.
Sadly, not everyone who was cast in Friends fit with the overall dynamic of the main cast. Courtney Cox recently revealed how competitive the process of becoming a guest star on Friends can be, according to Showbiz Cheatsheet. While celebrity guest stars often made the cut, unknown actors were always in jeopardy. As Courteney Cox stated:
First, we have run-throughs on Wednesday. Or we. I love being on the show. About 15 years. So many people would be fired during our Wednesday run-throughs. Like, my pals. I always felt bad because they only had one chance to rehearse.
Then, on Wednesday, the network would come through. So I either sent flowers or called. I pity them. It’s a joke.
One of the highlights of Friends was the variety of celebrity guests that would often appear. Many celebrities have appeared on television, including Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, Gary Oldman, and Jeff Goldblum. On the contrary, for most of its ten seasons, Friends was the TV show to watch, whether to advance an existing career or to launch a new one. Due to its elevated status, the network likely went above and beyond to ensure quality. This meant a very strict and difficult hiring process, which was great for the show.
Hollywood can be a difficult place for an actor, especially one who is just starting out. When Friends’ main cast was hired, most of them had done little to gain widespread recognition. But something about them appealed to the show’s creators and network, and they are now global icons. Of course, not everyone gets that kind of fame and fortune.
I graduated in Mass and Communication with 4 years of experience in content writing.