Friends is an American sitcom about a group of friends living in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which premiered on NBC on September 22, 1994. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The original executive producers were Crane, Kauffman and Kevin Bright, with Adam Chase, Michael Curtis, Greg Malins, Scott Silveri, Shana Goldberg-Meehan, Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen being promoted in later seasons.
Crane and Kauffman began developing Friends under the title "Insomnia Cafe" in November 1993. They presented the idea to Bright, with whom they had previously worked, and together they pitched a seven-page treatment of the series to NBC. After several script rewrites and changes, the series was finally named "Friends" and premiered on NBC's coveted Thursday 8:30 pm timeslot. Filming for the series took place at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California in front of a live audience. After ten seasons on the network, the series finale was heavily promoted by NBC, and viewing parties were organized around the U.S.. The finale, which was first aired on May 6, 2004, was watched by an average of 52.5 million American viewers, making it the fourth most-watched series finale in television history.
Friends received positive reviews throughout its run, and became one of the most popular sitcoms of its time. The series won many awards and was nominated for 63 Primetime Emmy Awards. The series was also very successful in the ratings, consistently ranking in the top ten in the final primetime ratings. Friends has made a large cultural impact, and the Central Perk coffee house featured prominently in the series has inspired various imitations worldwide. Repeats of the series continue to air worldwide, while each season has been released on DVD. Following the series finale, the spin-off series Joey was created, and rumors of a film continue to circulate.