Inside Move: Where’s Rachel’s baby?

Parenting plot doesn't boost ratings

Anyone watching “Friends” during the past few weeks may have noticed a not-so-conspicuous absence: Rachel’s daughter, Emma.

Apparently, producers realized that while having a baby is good for ratings, raising one isn’t.

There’s Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) in the coffee shop. There she is at the spa. There she is on dates — all without reasonable mentions of the toddler she had with “sometimes” beau Ross (David Schwimmer) last season. (Though there are baby-related items that pop up here and there.)

Chronology always get tweaked on series television — Bart has been the same age for 300 episodes of “The Simpsons,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” often ignores its tyke trio and every school-based show from “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” to “The Wonder Years” to “That ’70s Show” has tinkered with graduation timelines.

But the fact that today’s top-rated comedy would play the birth card for all its worth as did last season — and then pull the plug — is a little strange.

The history of recent TV tots may provide the motivation. CBS’ “Murphy Brown” showcased Candice Bergen’s kid — and then got rid of it — while NBC’s “Mad About You” ratings took a dive after baby Mabel was featured over and over again.

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