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Friends Could Have Lost One Of Its Most Iconic Characters In The First Season

Fortunately, the team found a solution

Friends is one of the most influential sitcoms of all time, and it's about to turn 25 years old.

In celebration of the popular series, a brand new book is debuting on September 17, days ahead of its 25th anniversary on September 22. Saul Austerlitz' Generation Friends is an upcoming book meant to explore some of the coolest facts you never knew about the show, or Friends Like Us, as it was originally tentatively titled.

Entertainment Weekly shared a few excerpts from the book ahead of its official debut, including one yarn in particular: Jennifer Aniston was almost written out of the first season.

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Originally, the Friends team had their eye on Jennifer Aniston to slide into the role of Rachel Green. We couldn't see anyone else in the role, right? AS it turns out, Aniston had already been working with CBS on another comedy at the time: Muddling Through. If for some reason Muddling Through ended up going to season, that would mean Friends would have to drop Aniston somewhere during its first season.

Obviously, that didn't happen (thank goodness). At the time, though, Muddling Through had shot about six unaired episodes. CBS had been wanting to put it on TV during the summer, effectively sending it out to die during Saturday nights. Because of the scheduling conflict it could ultimately cause Aniston for appearing in Friends, an order was given to "Kill it" to make way for Friends.

To recoup some of the losses from Muddling Through, executives decided to send Muddling Through to audiences packaged beside a series of original made-for-TV films based on Danielle Steel novels. Muddling Through aired for six nights on Saturday evenings paired with Steel movies, repeating the movies during the week. In exchange, it ended up eliminating any potential rivals Friends could have had for Thursday night time slots. It was a complicated plan, but in the end Aniston got to stay – and Friends boomed in popularity. The rest, as they say, is history.

Crazy, right? If you want to celebrate Rachel in all of her glory (while thanking your lucky stars Jennifer Aniston didn't end up exiting the show), remember to head to a theater near you this September and October for three nights of Friends on the big screen. You can see four episodes of the iconic series per night, newly-remastered in 4K.

This fall is about to be The One For Everyone Who Loves Friends.