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"Friends" Was Almost Meant To Have A Seventh Character

Liza AbarcaLiza Abarca

At this point, Friends is considered as one of history’s greatest sitcoms, with some comfortably dubbing it the reigning champion. Yet who knows what might have been, had NBC’s original designs pulled through, possibly changing the course of history as we have come to understand it. As it stands, the beloved cast of characters can rival that of any comedic ensemble, with Chandler, Monica, Ross, Phoebe, Joey, and Rachel each representing somebody’s favorite. Yet what might have happened if a seventh character was inserted into the group?

According to author Saul Austerlitz, who is launching a book called Generation Friends on September 17th, NBC was strongly advising the arrival seventh character. Apparently, the addition was meant as an older, more “mature” counterpart to the others, and was tentatively named “Pat The Cop” – it can be safely assumed that he was a cop. NBC seemed to think an older character would help draw in a different demographic, as per Entertainment Weekly. Yet creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane ultimately came to loathe Pat The Cop and everything he stood for, and promised they would strengthen the parental presence as a compromise.

Thankfully, Pat The Cop was left on the cutting room floor, and Friends was allowed to thrive exactly as the creators intended it too. And the rest is history. 

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