The Audience, Now and Then

Research shows that audiences did not like the Pilot Episode and the show almost did not make it. But, as people got into the show it became a “rating powerhouse” according to an internal NBC research report obtained by The Smoking Gun.  The research report explained that audiences were tested prior to the shows debuted and people did not find it funny or entertaining. People felt that the characters were dull and that they did not really care about each other enough. I personally found this hard to believe that an audience can feel this strongly after just one episode. The study was obviously wrong, as Friends lasted for 10 years. The study showed that people between 18-34 were most likely to watch the show and relate to the characters. There were no discrepancies in sex. Monica was the most liked character overall. Joey was the most liked character amongst teenage boys. Overall, people did not find the pilot to be original or clever. According to the study, people felt that the show was much like Melrose Place Many people were appauled that Monica had sex with a man on her first date in the pilot episode. People felt that Phoebe was too eccentric to be believable.

The report below shows demographics of people who graded the pilot episode in 1994:

55 Women ages 18-49, 70 men ages 18-49, 28 teens, and 19 above the age of 50 rated the show. Overall the show rated Just Average.

As of October 2011, Nielson Research has concluded that, “For the second week in a row, NBC’s “Friends” was the most popular prime-time show .”,,622832,00.html  It was also determined that,, NBC won the Friday night ratings this weekend with a 1.1 rating in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic.”.

Friends joined the Nick-at Nite line-up on September 5, 2011. The station new that Friends had high ratings and put it on the air as a double take to keep audiences enticed. Many people were surprised that Friends was being aired along with other shows that were popular in the 90s like The Cosby Show.  People could not believe that Friends is now considered an “old” show, but people are happy that it is back on.

Nickelodeon is trying to market Friends to a teenage/ young adult audience to keep the show alive even though it is very highly unlikely that they show will start up again or that a movie will come out of it.

Some blogs explain that audiences can still watch Friends on TBS even after it airs on Nick at Night. “Nick at Nite having the 6pm-6am rights, while TBS has the 6am-6pm rights (Both Nick at Nite and TBS have a six-year deal running through 2017.”


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