Showrunner Marta Kauffman had to deal with quite a few obstacles in creating "Friends" (including, but not limited to, misogyny). One of the comments she received from NBC early on nearly nixed the now iconic setup for the cast.
"We were told by the network, 'No one's going to watch a show about people in their 20s,'" she said. "[They said], 'You have to have an older person.'"
Of course, the show had nearly 25 million viewers in its first season. Though you, dear Internet, need no reminder of how beloved "Friends" was and always will be.
That concern from higher-ups was one of the reasons Kauffman almost had to bring in "Pat the Cop," aka, as moderator Ben Blacker put it, "America's favorite lost character."
As the lore would have it, Pat was suggested by one executive as an older figure who would provide the characters with relationship advice.
Kauffman was vehemently against bringing on Pat or a similar figure -- one of the other ideas was a "Coffee Joe" -- and insisted that she could make audiences care about such a young set of characters without a more mature presence.
"We kept saying, 'If the stories are universal enough, you don't need it.'" She eventually met executives' requests by bringing in Rachel Green's parents. (Later, Monica's and Ross' parents were also a big presence.)
"It felt more natural," Kauffman said. "That's how we decided to deal with the note. And this is what I always tell writers: you've gotta deal with the note somehow."
R.I.P. Pat the Cop. May you live on forever in "Friends" trivia posts.
Lauren Duca is currently covering the ATX Television Festival for The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter @laurenduca and expect much more to come!
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