Kudrow Unwilling to Write off 'Friends'

08/16/2002 at 10:00 AM EDT

Lisa Kudrow, for one, isn't ready for retirement. Interviewed for this Sunday's season premiere of Oxygen's "Conversations from the Edge with Carrie Fisher," Kudrow, 39, refused to close the door on this being the final season -- its ninth -- of the hit NBC must-see sitcom on which she stars. (Oh, the name of the show is "Friends.") "You know, now I hope not," Kudrow said in the interview, which was obtained by Variety. "I'm actually comfortable saying I'm not. Which means it probably will be the last year. You know, we all get along, and we still have fun, and the writers are still working really hard and they do good stories." Only last month, PEOPLE.com reported that despite previous word from NBC that this coming season would likely be the last for TV's top-rated show, NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker, speaking to TV reporters, left open the possibility that the sitcom might remain on the air beyond next year. 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 Reuters. Chimed in Marta Kauffman, one of the show's co-creators: "We don't want to overstay our welcome." But as Kudrow told Fisher: "You look around and you see that a lot of reasons shows finish is the ratings are really bad. We were No. 1 for the first time ever in our eighth season."

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