'Friends' May (or May Not) Stick Around
Despite previous word from NBC that this coming season, its ninth, would likely be the last for TV's top-rated show, "Friends," NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker on Tuesday left open the possibility that the sitcom might remain on the air beyond next year, reports Reuters. The show's producers, however, restated their position that the 2002-03 season will be the show's last. "We're certainly approaching this as if this is the last season and sort of planning our stories accordingly," producer Kevin Bright told a gathering of reporters at an NBC press tour currently taking place in Southern California, according to Reuters. "We have the feeling that creatively we're there," chimed in Marta Kauffman, one of the show's co-creators. "Not that we couldn't come up with another season if that were in front of us. But it does feel a bit like things are coming full circle . . .We don't want to overstay our welcome." Her partner, David Crane, stated that viewer reaction to this coming season's episodes would not determine one way or the other if Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer would be continuing in their $1 million-per-episode jobs beyond next May. "I don't think you can use the season to evaluate that," Crane said. "If this was not going to be the last season, we'd have to know that right now, because everything is planning toward that."
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