Friends is an American situation comedy created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which premiered on NBC (National Broadcasting Company) on September 22, 1994. The series revolved around a group of friends in the area of Manhattan, New York City, who occasionally live together and share living expenses. 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 numerous others being promoted in later seasons.
Kauffman and Crane 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 promoted by NBC, and viewing parties were organized around the US. The finale, which first aired on May 6, 2004, was watched by 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. The Central Perk coffee house that had featured prominently in the series has inspired various imitations throughout the world. Repeats of the series continue to air worldwide, and all seasons have been released on DVD. Following the series finale, the spin-off series Joey was created.