How many months can we go without the announcement that a TV show we’ve already seen is being re-created? Reboots and reunions, sequels and prequels: From “Star Wars” to “Gilmore Girls,” it seems there’s no stopping the power of a franchise. So any day now, shouldn’t we be hearing rumors that the only ’90s powerhouse to live on without a re-do is going to cave?
“It will never happen.”
That’s what the creators of “Friends” are saying, and not for the first time. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Marta Kauffman and David Crane shot down the possibility that we’ll ever see more than reruns of their hit NBC sitcom. “Friends” ended in 2004, 10 seasons after Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler and Joey first warmed America’s hearts and cleared the way for a whole genre of friends-hanging-out shows.
“Friends” fans divide into two camps: those who would like an updated (ahem, less-white) version or sequel and those who believe the magic of “Friends” can never be re-created.
Kauffman and Crane are firmly in camp B.
“It will never happen, but no one tends to believe me,” Kauffman said. “It shouldn’t happen. That show is about a time in your life when your friends are your family. Once you start having a family, that time of your life is over.”
Most of the “Friends” cast will be gathering for “A Tribute to James Burrows,” (who directed some of the series’ episodes) Feb. 21 on NBC. It would be the perfect time to make a “Friends” announcement, but we repeat: It’s not going to happen.
“We finished the show exactly the way we wanted to finish it,” Crane said. “To revisit those characters just seems like a bad idea — you don’t want to see them hanging out in the coffeehouse now. And the good news is, you can see them whenever you want to. The show lives on with amazing vitality.”
Anyone with cable knows it’s impossible to escape “Friends” reruns, but the co-creators were referring to the show’s online success. All 10 seasons came to Netflix in early 2015. Gone are the days when you’d tote your heavy boxed set of DVDs over to a friend’s house. Now even people who were toddlers when the show ended can watch it anytime. That includes Kauffman’s daughter, who is 17.
“All of her friends are discovering the show,” Kauffman said. “Someone said to her, ‘Did you see that new show called ‘Friends’?”
“It’s fascinating watching the resurgence in my daughter’s generation,” she continued. “I look at it and go, ‘God, that was a big wireless phone.’ That doesn’t seem to bother these kids — they think it’s a period piece.”
But all that Netflix attention won’t make the creators change their minds. Asked whether she ever got tired of people asking her about “Friends,” Kauffman responded: “It’s kind of like someone saying, ‘You raised a great child.’ Why would that not be a wonderful thing to hear over and over again?”
“We’re just not letting the kid go to any reunions,” Crane said.