MUSEUM OF TELEVISION & RADIO, THE: WILLIAM S. PALEY TELEVISION FESTIVAL 1996: FRIENDS {LONG VERSION}

Summary

One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Museum of Television & Radio’s William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Directors Guild of America Theatre Complex, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television’s creative community. This evening honors "Friends,” a comedy about six friends in their twenties who live together in New York City and share a favorite haunt, a coffee bar called Central Perk. Museum president Robert M. Batscha introduces William C. Paley, son of the festival's namesake, who comments about the show, as well as his father’s influence on television. Batscha then introduces the panelists: creators and executive producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman; executive producer Kevin Bright; co-executive producer Michael Borkow; producer Alexa Junge; writers Jeff Astrof, and Mike Sikowitz; and cast members Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), and Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing). Bright then introduces two episodes, “The One With the Blackout” and “The One With the Prom Video,” which are screened in their entirety. Panelists touch on such topics as: “Friends” being the result of the creators’ attempt to go in a different direction from their last show, “Dream On”; what changes were requested by network executives after hearing the show’s premise; the casting process; how the cast learned “to click”; and the manner in which the actors helped the characters evolve. Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics: if the actors contribute to the scripts; why it took so long for the characters of Rachel and Ross to become a couple; techniques for keeping the show from getting stale; the real-life friendships among the cast; if the actors are overwhelmed by their press coverage; why the third season will focus on the principals rather than “stunt casting”; the fate of Marcel the monkey; internet rumors inferring that Chandler and Joey are gay; if the story ideas are based on the writers’ experiences; if the characters’ futures have been mapped out; the actors’ expertise at physical comedy; if the network censors were concerned about a lesbian plotline; if the actors would be friends with their respective characters; why cast members Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Courteney Cox were unable to attend the seminar; how long it takes to write a typical episode; the thinking in spotlighting a brother-sister relationship; how Kudrow was able to balance simultaneous jobs on “Friends” and “Mad About You”; if future episodes will include location shoots; and reactions to the show in foreign markets. (This tape includes the “Friends” episodes “The One With the Blackout” (T:45326) and “The One With the Prom Video” (T:45327). These episodes are part of the Museum’s collection and may be viewed separately.)

Details

  • NETWORK:
  • DATE: October 4, 1996 Friday 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:46:13
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:47274
  • GENRE: Seminars
  • SUBJECT HEADING: She Made It Collection (Marta Kauffman)
  • SERIES RUN:
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Robert M. Batscha … Moderator
    • David Crane … Panelist
    • Marta Kauffman … Panelist
    • Michael Borkow … Panelist
    • Kevin Bright … Panelist
    • Alexa Junge … Panelist
    • Jeff Astrof … Panelist
    • Mike Sikowitz … Panelist
    • Jennifer Aniston … Panelist
    • Matt LeBlanc … Panelist
    • Matthew Perry … Panelist
    • William C. Paley … Guest
    • Courteney Cox (See also: Courteney Cox-Arquette)
    • Lisa Kudrow
    • David Schwimmer