Jennifer Aniston: why she could have left “Friends”

While it’s been almost 25 years since the first episode of “Friends” aired, we continue to learn a little more about the cult series. Latest revelation to date: Jennifer Aniston alias Rachel could have left the show from the first season. We explain why.

What would “Friends” be without its cult characters? Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Rachel…: all of them participated in the dazzling success of the American series. The story of the show, however, could have taken a completely different turn. According to information from the American magazine “Entertainment Weekly”, which reveals in preview some secrets of the book “Generation Friends” by Saul Austerlitz, Jennifer Aniston alias Rachel could indeed have left the cult series from the first season. Before joining the cast of “Friends”, the American actress had already played in several episodes of “Muddling Through”, a show broadcast on CBS. If this series had been a success, Jennifer Aniston would have had to abandon “Friends” to participate in the filming of other episodes of “Muddling Through”.

NBC did everything to keep Jennifer Aniston in “Friends”

How was this catastrophe averted? Thanks to the stubbornness of Warren Littlefield, the producer of NBC, the channel which broadcast “Friends”. Convinced that Jennifer Aniston was the perfect actress to play Rachel, the latter did everything to make “Muddling Through” a failure. He went to Preston Breckman, NBC’s head of programming, and asked him to change the schedule. Instead of airing promising original programs, NBC then bet on rebroadcasting romantic TV movies to compete with CBS. Winning strategy: “Muddling Through” did not hold up to competition from NBC and was discontinued. Jennifer Aniston, unknown to the general public at the time, continued her adventure in “Friends” and established herself as an essential actress of her generation. We had a narrow escape!

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