The one where Friends turns 20: Friends by numbers

The one where Friends turns 20: Friends by numbers

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Thursday, 4th September 2014

Hit sitcom Friends celebrates its 20th anniversary on 22nd September 2014, marking the moment it was first broadcast on NBC. To commemorate this moment in television history, here's a list of everything you need to know about Friends in numbers.

Number of episodes  



Number of series

22 million Number of people who watched the pilot

61 million
Over 61 million people in America and the UK watched the last ever episode  


   Average viewing figures for repeats on Channel 4 and E4

22500Fee for each episode in season one for core cast   1 millionFee for each episode in seasons nine and ten for core cast     

Number of times Ross and Rachel broke up

  15 Number of acting gigs Joey gets (including his job as a model on a venereal disease poster) 
1 The number of times the series was shot outside of LA. The series 4 finale was shot on location in London in front of three studio audiences of 500 each, the show’s largest audience throughout its run. No episodes were filmed in New York City.    
6 Number of hours each 22 minute episode took to film (this is twice the length of most sitcom episodes, mainly due to the number of retakes and script rewrites) 3 Number of days it took Crane and Kauffman to write the pilot episode  
  8 Number of episodes 'Marcel' the monkey appears in. The monkey which played Marcel is actually a female.      
5 Number of suggested titles for the sitcom, before the creators decided on ‘Friends’. (Six of One, Friends Like Us, Across the Hall, Once Upon a Time in the West Village, and Insomnia Café were alternatives) 29
Number of directors who worked on the show


  2 Number of Jennifer Anniston’s real-life boyfriends who portrayed characters on the show (Tate Donovan as Rachel’s boyfriend, Joshua, and Brad Pitt as Will Colbert)  
   47  Number of different songs Phoebe Buffay sings    
52 Number of primetime Emmy Awards the show was nominated for 6 Number of Primetime Emmy Awards the show won
1st The first member to be cast was Ross Gellar, played by David Schwimmer    
  9 The number of Oscar-winners who starred in Friends (Charlton Heston, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Helen Hunt, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Robin Williams, George Clooney, Jim Rash and Brad Pitt)    
1000 Approximate number of actors that applied for each role 75 Number of actors that were auditioned for each role


Number of claps in the theme tune 7 Number of series that finished with a cliff-hanger about Ross and Rachel  4am The time of day the opening title sequence was filmed in a fountain at the Warner Bros. Ranch 
  4 Number of child actors that played Ben. Michael Gunderson played him when he was a baby, the brothers Charles Thomas Allen and John Christopher Allen played him from Season 3-5 and Cole Sprouse took the role from Season 6 to 8.   



By Rebecca Stewart, Pippa Shawley and Sanya Burgess

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