NBC is taking full advantage of its “Friends” as the hit show fades into the sunset.
Including tonight’s two-hour finale event — an hourlong swan song plus a clip show plus a special “Tonight” show on the set of the skein — Peacock will air a whopping nine hours of “Friends” and “Friends”- related programming during the May sweeps.
A week ago, net aired both an original “Friends” and a repeat. Wednesday night was “Friends”-apalooza, as NBC rebroadcast two episodes of the show and devoted an entire two-hour “Dateline” to the laffer.
Still not enough “Friends” for ya? Just two weeks after the finale, NBC is planning to repeat the final three episodes of “Friends” on May 20 — the final Thursday of the sweeps.
NBC is giving “Frasier” some extra love, too.
Next Tuesday, net will air two repeats of the Kelsey Grammer-led laffer and a one-hour “Dateline” devoted to the good doctor Crane. After a two-hour send off on May 13, NBC plans an instant repeat of the “Frasier” finale May 14.
Other nets are offering lots of repeats this month, too. CBS has some extra “Cold Case” and “CSI” episodes this month, while ABC is repeating “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” less than week after it premieres this Sunday. And Fox has 11 original hours of “American Idol.”
But with all the “Friends” and “Frasier” repeats — not to mention the usual extra encores of various “Law & Order” skeins — one industry insider estimates NBC’s May sweeps will be roughly 25% repeats.
NBC topper Jeff Zucker makes no apology for the net’s “Friends” frenzy, or any other repeats for that matter. “It’s hard to say goodbye when you have really good friends,” he said, perhaps relishing one of the last times he — or members of the press — will get to use a corny “Friends” pun.
Meanwhile, today Warner Bros. will rename Stage 24 the “Friends” Stage.