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            Nine years ago, six new people entered the lives of American citizens and created an image that has touched the hearts, minds, and souls of everyone who knows them. When these six people leave our lives at [possibly] the end of this year, a deep void will set upon many of us. A void that is going to be hard to fill. This all sounds like a bunch of bologna, but for those who follow [religiously] the NBC hit television show Friends, this feeling is all too real. Over the past nine seasons, Americans have grown with the characters and started to identify with them in slight, subtle ways. .
             Let's flash back to May 2000, where negotiations to re-sign Friends for two more seasons have turned more unsightly than Ugly Naked Guy. The stars of the show wanted the network to cough up several hundred thousand dollars to each character or they could say bye bye to Must See NBC (Rice 1). NBC complied and again negotiations were on the table in February 2002, only this time the cast was asking for $1 million a show. To some this may seem like such a ridiculous amount for a TV show, but NBC faced either paying the actors their asking price or face dealing with taking away one of the most popular shows in American pop culture history.
             Why do Americans love the characters played by Courtney Cox Arquette, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc so much? "The secret can't be the plots (there aren't any) or even the dramatic car chase scenes (ditto). It might have something to do with the good writing and a strong concept: six mildly neurotic single twentysomethings in search of a life, with a punch line," Craig Thomashoff said. (Thomashoff 1). Friends appeals to both people in their twenties and to people who have already been there and forgotten. Kevin Bright, executive producer of the show, says that what makes the show so great is that we all see a little piece of our own lives on the screen (Thomashoff 2).

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