Friends Creator Reveals Jennifer Aniston Was Almost Banned From Playing Rachel Green

“We were holding our breath the whole time, looking at the ratings"

The Friends pilot without Jennifer Aniston bursting into Central Perk in a wedding dress - unthinkable, right?

Turns out, one of the seminal moments of 90s pop culture almost. never. happened (with that particular actress, anyway).

Speaking at The Wrap Emmy Screening panel for comedy show runners, Friends creator David Crane told the story of how Jen An was almost banned from appearing in Friends, due to contractual commitments on a sitcom called 'Muddling Through'. 

Aniston was in 'first position' for a role as a bartender in the CBS comedy, meaning that as long as that show was running, she couldn't commit to starring in any other shows, no matter how much Crane and other Friends creators wanted her to be Rachel.


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“The fear was that we would shoot four or five of them [Friends episodes], and CBS, just to screw with NBC, would pick up ‘Muddling Through,’ and then we would have to recast and reshoot the first five episodes,” Crane explained.

He added: “We were holding our breath the whole time, looking at the ratings. You never wish ill on another show.”

Well, unless they're preventing YOUR show from securing one of its seminal actresses.

“Every week we’d think please God let it go off,” chimed in Jeffrey Klarik, Crane’s co-showrunner on “Episodes.”

Luckily for Aniston fans, 'Muddling Through' soon got cancelled. Jen jumped to NBC, and Rachel Green was born!

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