Do not adjust your television set. With the ever growing list of TV shows that are being remade or rebooted, it appears as though the networks are on a scavenger hunt to dig up any remotely successful television show from the 80s and 90s and bring it back to air. Call it an extremely bad case of writer's block or blame it on lack of creativity and originality but in the last few years, networks have jumped on the bandwagon and announced that the following shows are making a comeback to the small screen:
• Xena Warrior Princess (rumored - NBC)
• Fuller House (Netflix) - originally aired as Full House on ABC
• The X Files (Fox)
• Heroes: Reborn (NBC) - originally aired as Heroes on NBC
• Twin Peaks (ABC)
• The Muppet Show (CBS)
• Girl Meets World (airing on Disney) - originally aired as Boy Meets World on ABC
If programmers are so invested in recycling old content, why has NBC not yet decided to reintroduce Friends with a new cast? The series had an extremely successful run for 10 seasons from 1994-2004 and like many of the original series mentioned, Friends episodes are still broadcast in syndication and on popular streaming services. A new generation of viewers are tuning in to watch and discuss the series.
While the characters may not have had iPhones and Uber to navigate Manhattan back in the 90s, the stories and friendships of Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe could be just as relevant in today's society. Imagine Ross and Rachel living a happy domesticated life with their children Ben and Emma. With Monica as her highly organized agent, Phoebe Buffay's hit song Smelly Cat goes viral and she becomes an overnight internet sensation. Joey finally becomes a successful actor and Chandler quits his job to join Joey's entourage.
Most of the original Friends cast members are tied to other acting commitments and have mentioned they are not interested in a reunion. A remake seems doubtful but a reboot could be interesting especially with guest appearances. Girl Meets World recently hyped up the nostalgia factor when the writers brought back fan favourite actor Will Friedel to reprise his role as Cory's brother, Eric Matthews. Buzzworthy scenes create major opportunities for fans to generate positive feedback about the show through social media. Even though Friends did not have the advantage of being on air during the time of Facebook and live tweeting events, its popularity would surely rise with new episodes scheduled in this social era.
Whether the characters live on just by name or their stories continue from where the series left off, Friends fans remain large in numbers. Over 19 million fans follow the Friends Facebook page. The show would be easily marketable and resonate with multiple demographics and a loyal fan base. A new Friends series has the potential to draw in advertisers and high ratings for NBC.
As the search continues for networks to rediscover catalogs of once popular series, one would hope that Friends tops the list of shows set to return to the airwaves.