What will replace the hole left by Friends on E4?
Written by : thetvking published Saturday 13th August 2011
This Autumn, September 30th to be exact, E4 will show its final episode of Friends as the licence to broadcast the hit USA show ends. Two questions remain, what will the final episode on E4 be? And what will replace Friends in the schedule?
With the issue of the final episode they could go with the obvious choice and choose to air “The Last One” but surly that is a bit predictable. With E4 participating in Twitter with the constant reminder to viewers to tweet the hashtags for the new show including #BeaverFallsE4 so ”the tech guys can get excited”. Why not offer the fans the chance to vote for their favourite episodes through Twitter and/or Facebook and give Friends a fitting send off on the final day. After all FIVE or as it is now(again) Channel 5 did it with the top 10 CSI episodes of all time. I even have a hashtag #E4BestFriendsEpisode.
The other big question the E4 bosses will have is what will fill the chasm left by the iconic Friends?
Friends has been on E4 or Channel 4 since 1994 and an ever present in the E4 schedule even after the airing of the final episode in 2004 which pulled in 8.6 million viewers for Channel 4. Even now 7 years on, Friends still pulls in almost 400,000 viewers. No wonder you can still catch Friends every day on E4, with a double bill between 8 & 9 PM.
Channel 4 got rid of Big Brother, the E4 round the clock broadcast and the sister show BBLB (Big Brother's Little Brother) and stopped showing repeats of Scrubs, Friends remained and held its own. There are not many shows that you can see the same episode for the umpteenth time and still enjoy it. Many people have grown up with Friends on Channel4/E4 from school to college, university and then work. Friends has been there, on in the background at every stage. It will be missed.
Many shows have tried to emulate the success of Friends and with varying levels of success. The current best attempt How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) takes a group of 20 something friends in NYC (New York City) and while a good show in its own right struggles to escape the shadow of the Friends tree. After all, E4 did brand it as the new Friends. Which leads to character comparisons at every turn:
Barney = Joey
Robin = Rachel
Marshall = Chandler
Lilly = Monica
Ted = Ross
Mrs Ted Mosby?? = Phoebe
With HIMYM missing the quirky Phoebe maybe the “Mother” will be HIMYM's Phoebe?
E4 have also picked up a couple of new US shows to help fill the void. Speaking to The Sun, Paul Mortimer, E4 channel manager Paul Mortimer has said that E4 plan to fill the time with new US comedies and also show films starting at the 8PM slot left by Friends. Repeats of favourites such as Tool Academy, The Inbetweeners and The Big Bang Theory will help to fill the gap, along with new US show Happy Endings.
Happy Endings aired on ABC in the US and features a group of 6 friends 2 of who have just split up. Happy Endings stars Elisha Cuthbert who made her break on 24 stars as Alex, Eliza Coupe from Scrubs stars as Jane, Zachary Knighton stars as Dave, Adam Pally stars as Max, Casey Wilson stars as Penny and Damon Wayans, Jr. stars as Brad.
E4 have also lined up 10 new series, most of which are due to start this year. They include a dating show, a new series of PhoneShop, The Midnight Beast and Chris Addison's Show And Tell.
What will you miss about Friends?
Vote for your favourite Friends episode with #E4BestFriendsEpisode on Twitter.