Friends to end on Channel 4

Channel 4 have announced today that US comedy Friends will come to an end next year.
 

 
The channel has agreed a deal with Warner Bros International Television Distribution to end its association with Friends in autumn 2011.Friends, which aired its final episode in May 2004 in the UK will cease in autumn of 2011. Ever since the show finished, Channel 4 and E4 have aired numerous repeats on a daily basis, with the average viewing figures of 386,000.
 
Gill Hay, Head of Acquisitions says:? “After 15 years, 10 hit series and 236 terrific episodes it’s time to say goodbye to old Friends and welcome new ones, in the form of more comedy, drama and entertainment from the US and UK.? 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.”
 
Channel 4 have announced that they will continue to air the best “free to air US drama and comedy”. Recent drama-musical acquirement Glee, which airs on E4 has seen ratings over 1 million viewers.


 

Full Press Release below

Channel 4 has today announced that it has decided to relinquish its UK broadcast rights to long-running TV series Friends. The channel has agreed a deal with Warner Bros International Television Distribution to end its association with Friends in autumn 2011.

Ending its tie to the 15-year-old series will provide an opportunity to refresh the schedule across Channel 4 and E4 and, alongside the decision not to re-commission Big Brother past summer 2010, frees funds to develop new UK content and acquire the latest shows coming out of the US.

Gill Hay, Head of Acquisitions says: “After 15 years, 10 hit series and 236 terrific episodes it’s time to say goodbye to old Friends and welcome new ones, in the form of more comedy, drama and entertainment from the US and UK. 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.”

Channel 4, E4 and More4 will continue to be the home of the best free-to-air US drama and comedy, including the critically-acclaimed vampire drama True Blood and Golden Globe winning hit musical comedy Glee, and brand new series The Cleveland Show and The Good Wife. Ongoing popular US series include The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters and 90210.