Friends producer reveals NBC concerns over one particular episode

The network were expecting a major backlash after this episode early in the series

Friends The original Friends

Friends may have gone on to become a global television phenomenon but there was a time when the NBC sitcom attracted some concern among studio executives.

The popular show ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, with 236 episodes aired, countless awards won and viewing figure records smashed along the way.

However, it was not always plain sailing for the team behind the show that launched the careers of Jennifer Aniston and Matt Le Blanc among others.

In fact, NBC executives were so concerned about one particular episode, they even took steps to prepare themselves for a negative public reaction.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Marta Kauffman recalled what would prove to be a pivotal moment in the making of the show.

It centred around the Season Two episode entitled “The One With The Lesbian Wedding” which focused on a subject matter NBC felt many would react badly to.

“When we did the lesbian wedding of Friends, everybody was up in arms. [NBC] put 104 operators on for fear of getting a million phone calls,” she explained.

“They got two.”

Having received few in the way of phone calls over the lesbian wedding episode, NBC waited and waited for the complaints to flood in by mail, but they were, once again, left a little disappointed.

 “A month later, they got all the letters, but nobody called,” Kauffman explained.

“And the letters were all from the Rev. [Donald] Wildmon. What a putz!”

After overcoming this potentially tricky episode, Friends went from strength to strength, with Kauffman now working on popular Netflix addition Grace & Frankie.

And in 2016, with the creative freedom online streaming platforms offer, Kauffman at least has no concerns over covering such a topic again.

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