“Friends” first broadcast on Comedy Central UK in 2011 and continues to be a significant ratings contributor for the channel. To date, 32.1 million individuals have watched the show since it premiered on Comedy Central UK, with 5.9 million viewers tuning in to watch “Friends” each month.
Commenting on the license extension, Jill Offman, MD Comedy Central UK & SVP Comedy International, said: “‘Friends’ has become synonymous with Comedy Central in the minds of fans and so I’m thrilled we can continue to deliver them their favourite show. We are also investing in the brand off-air and can’t wait to host FriendsFest, a week long interactive experience in central London this September.”
Said Jeffrey Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros Worldwide Television Distribution: “For 20 years ‘Friends’ has been one of the most popular and enduring shows in the UK. This great show continues to run contrary to all the usual trends for long running sitcoms by not only maintaining a loyal audience but attracting new fans, some of whom were not even alive when it was originally telecast. The performance and renewal on Comedy Central reinforces that ‘Friends’ continues to be a culturally relevant program, making it one of the few reliable hit shows that crosses generational lines and still attracts a large and diverse audience on linear television.”
Comedy Central’s FriendsFest will take place between Wednesday, September 16 and Sunday, September 20 at The Boiler House on Brick Lane, London. The venue will be transformed into the ultimate “Friends” experience and will include a recreation of the set of Monica’s apartment, an exhibition of original props and memorabilia, plus the chance for fans to sit on the iconic orange sofa featured in the show.
Viewers wanting to get into the mood for Comedy Central’s FriendsFest will be able to watch all 236 episodes of “Friends” in chronological order, daily from Monday, August 24.
About Friends on Comedy Central UK:
• “Friends” airs exclusively on Comedy Central in the UK
• “Friends” remains hugely popular with 5.9M viewers coming in to watch it on Comedy Central UK each month
• This year, “Friends’” share of viewing is up +11% year-on-year
• 5.9M viewers tune in to watch “Friends” each month on Comedy Central UK
• 32.1M individuals have watched “Friends” since it debuted on Comedy Central UK in October 2011
• 9.7M 16-34s have watched “Friends” since it debuted on Comedy Central UK in October 2011
About Comedy Central UK:
Comedy Central is a leading Pay TV General Entertainment channel and is part of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). A joint venture between VIMN (75%) and BSkyB (25%), Comedy Central airs on the Sky and Virgin Media platforms. Comedy Central launched in the UK in April 2008 and has since grown by a phenomenal 53%. The channel broadcasts a mix of hit U.S. acquisitions and original UK productions targeting a 16-34 year-old audience. Popular shows include “Impractical Jokers,” “The Middle,” “South Park,” “Friends,” “Mike and Molly” and “Two and a Half Men.” In 2012, Comedy Central aired its first local commission, “Threesome,” which received both critical acclaim and high ratings. A subsequent series followed as well as the channel’s second commission, “Alternative Comedy Experience.” In 2014 Comedy Central greenlit series production on two international commissions, “Brotherhood” and “I Live With Models,” and went into UK series production on “Drunk History.” All three shows successfully debuted on Comedy Central in 2015. Most recently a UK version of the smash-hit “Impractical Jokers” has been co-commissioned by Comedy Central and Channel Five. In addition to the main Comedy Central channel are Comedy Central +1, Comedy Central Extra and Comedy Central Extra +1 providing audiences with further viewing opportunities and more fantastic content.