Is Friends the most-watched television series of all time?

Last Modified Dec 5, 2022 13:00 GMT
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Friends became one of the most-watched television series of all time while receiving praise throughout its run. The show received 62 Primetime Emmy nominations, and in 2002, for its eighth season, it won the Outstanding Comedy Series Award.


The major cast members made the decision to submit themselves in the same acting categories for awards in order to preserve the ensemble structure of the series. The performers made the decision to enter themselves in the lead actor balloting rather than the supporting actor category beginning with the eighth season of the show.


The show received 62 Primetime Emmy nominations and took home six of them. Only Aniston and Kudrow from the ensemble cast have received an Emmy, while Cox is the only actor who has not received a nomination. Being nominated in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2003, the show won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002. Additionally, the series received a Golden Globe Award, an American Comedy Award, a GLAAD Media Award, three Logie Awards, six People's Choice Awards, one Satellite Award, and one Screen Actors Guild Award.


"Friends" received accolades and was known as one of the most watched television shows of all time. The show came in at number 21 on TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time and at number 5 on Empire magazine's list of the top 50 television shows ever. The episode "The One with the Prom Video" was listed as the 100th greatest episode of all time by TV Guide in 1997. Friends placed 24th on the Writers Guild of America's list of the 101 best-written television series of all time in 2013.


How was the critical reception of the TV show Friends?


Friends grew in popularity as the series went on, thanks to more favorable reviews. It was one of the most-watched shows at the time. It is now frequently listed among the top TV shows of all time. The series received praise from critics for its consistently sharp writing and the chemistry between its lead actors. When Noel Holston of Newsday watched the episode again after disparaging the pilot as a "so-so Seinfeld wannabe" in 1994, he decided to retract his earlier review and felt compelled to send an apology to the writers.


The second season was when the series "hit its stride," according to Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com. Havrilesky discovered the situations and jokes pertinent to each character "could reliably make you laugh out loud a few times each episode, and the quality of the writing allowed the stories to be original and innovative."


The eighth season was hailed by Bill Carter of The New York Times as a "truly stunning comeback." Carter discovered that the series managed to "re-enter the hearts of its fans" by "generating new hot storylines and high-decibel laughs." Nevertheless, Liane Bonin of Entertainment Weekly thought that the ninth season's direction was a "disappointing buzzkill," criticizing it for the nonstop appearances by famous people. Bonin expressed his dissatisfaction with the season but said that "the writing was still sharp."


The tenth season, in the opinion of Havrilesky, was "alarmingly awful, far worse than you would ever imagine a once so good show could be." However, Time included "Friends" on its list of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time," stating that "the well-hidden secret of this show was that it called itself Friends and was really about family."


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How was the finale of Friends received?


The series finale received mostly favorable reviews. The Boston Herald's Sarah Rodman praised Aniston and Schwimmer for their acting but thought that the reunion of their characters was "a bit too neat, even if it was what most of the show's legions of fans wanted."


Ken Parish Perkins, writing for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, pointed out that the finale was "more touching than comical, more satisfying in terms of closure than knee-slappingly funny."


Robert Blanco of USA Today said, "It may have been impossible for any one episode to live up to the hype and expectations built up around the Friends finale, but this hour probably came as close as fans could have reasonably hoped. Ultimately, the two-hour package did exactly what it was supposed to do. It wrapped up the story while reminding us why we liked the show and will miss it."


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Friends always received its fair share of reviews, and to be honest, it was not always well received by all critics. But, at the end of the day, what matters is that the audience enjoyed it, which is how it became the most-watched television series of all time.


How was the TV show Friends rated and syndicated?


Friends consistently placed among the top ten of the final television season ratings in the United States. The term "rank" describes Friends' performance in comparison to other primetime television shows during the relevant television season. Ratings are usually based on the total number of series that were broadcast on the six then-dominant English-language networks during a specific season. Friends was the last sitcom to hold down the top spot on television before CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, American Idol, NBC Sunday Night Football, and NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service).


All episodes became available on Netflix on January 1, 2015, introducing a new generation to the show. The 2016 reruns' US weekly audience, not including streaming, of 16 million would make it a hit on network television, where the show is still being produced. The show is syndicated on multiple networks in the United States, including Nick at Nite, TBS, and Paramount Network.


In July 2019, it was announced that from the beginning of 2020, Friends would not be available on Netflix in the US and instead would be shown on Warner Bros. Discovery's video-streaming service HBO Max, which launched in May 2020.


FAQs


Q. How was the overall reception of the TV show Friends?

A. It was initially compared to another TV show, Seinfeld, and received mixed reviews, but as the seasons went on, it gained good to excellent reviews.


Q. Is Friends really the most-watched television series of all time?

A. The title of most-watched television show of all time shifts over time; at one point, Friends held that position, but there are now a few successors as well.


Q. How much money does “Friends” earn?

A. The exact amount is not stated anywhere, but a 2015 report claims that Warner Bros earns about $1 billion annually from residuals from syndicated reruns. Since it must be higher in 2022, it may have generated billions in revenue during its peak in the 1990s.


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