Friends to end its E4 run on Sunday (September 4, 2011)
Story by Jack Foley
E4 will stop showing repeats of Friends this weekend to make way for new comedy on the digital channel.
The last scheduled episode of the timeless comedy – the 2004 series finale – will air at 8pm on Sunday (September 4, 2011).
Channel 4 will continue to hold the licence to broadcast the show until the end of the month, when it will pass to Comedy Central.
A parting statment issued by the broadcaster, from Gill Hay last February, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been the home of Friends for so long, but at a point when the channel is undergoing a period of creative renewal it felt like the right time to part company.”
Hence, E4’s autumn schedule will see a fresh batch of comedy shows coming to the channel such as Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, which sees the The Mighty Boosh creator in a half filmed-half animated show, and Show & Tell, in which three aspiring comics each bring items to “show” and “tell” the audience and Chris Addison plays host.
There will also be a return for Comedy Labs and PhoneShop featuring more opportunity for home-grown talent, as well as new US comedy sitcoms such as New Girl, featuring 500 Days of Summer star Zooey Deschanel and Happy Endings, featuring 24‘s Elisha Cuthbert.
Channel 4 has broadcast Friends since 1994 and continued to repeat every episode on constant rotation since it officially came to an end in 2004.
As if to emphasise its continued popularity, re-runs have consistently attracted an average audience of almost 400,000.