with Chris Cruise

“I’ll be there for you… if I’m not on another show!”

How the cast of Friends ALMOST looked a little different.

It was TODAY in 1994 that we first met six people who, at the time, we didn’t realize would become iconic, and a part of our lives, for over 10 years.  Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross gave us hundreds of memorable episodes and moments.  And, if you were in the same frame of life as they were – that point in your late 20s/early 30s where your FRIENDS are your family – YOU got it.

But ONE of those Friends ALMOST couldn’t join the rest.

As it turns out, Jennifer Aniston had already been cast on a CBS sitcom, “Muddling Through.”  The show aired Saturday nights as a summer replacement series, and had the opportunity to make it to another season.  BUT, when NBC executives figured out that Jennifer HAD to play Rachel, they essentially sabotaged the show.

And as you can see, Jennifer wasn’t bad on it.  But, NBC executives counter-programmed “Muddling Through” with special Danielle Steele movies, other unique programs, and stole ALL the thunder from CBS’ lineup.  The tactic, dirty as it seemed, worked.  “Muddling Through” muddled its way to only 10 episodes, Jennifer was released from her contract, and the Rachel Green we all got to know and love joined the other five.

Here’s to a little old-fashioned warfare behind the scenes.  For those of us who needed a couple of FRIENDS through the years, we’re glad it all worked out.


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