The Monica Geller storyline that almost didn’t make the ‘Friends’ pilot

The co-creator of NBC’s hit sitcom “Friends” is dropping a major revelation about the show’s pilot episode involving a story where Monica has sex on a first date.

Back in 1994, it was quite the taboo to feature sex and women’s sexuality on television. In fact, it was so controversial that NBC tried to cut a story from the pilot episode of Friends. Something that the show’s co-creator David Crane discussed with Entertainment Weekly.

Avid viewers of the series can probably remember that Courteney Cox’s character Monica Geller, ends up sleeping with Paul the wine guy on their first date. Crane revealed to WE that Don Meyer, head of the NBC at the time, “took real issue” with Monica’s sex on the first date encounter.

Crane claims that Meyer told them that Monica will lose her appeal to the network with the scene. Yet, the production “held our ground on it.” But the production’s willingness to keep the storyline as-is isn’t the only thing that saved Monica from the slut-shaming.

James Burrows intended for the network run-through to be showed to a live audience. That way, the production will know what is working with viewers. NBC then seized this opportunity to send out questionnaires and get feedback.

Crane described the questionnaires as “so skewed” revealing that “it basically said: ‘When she does this, is she a trollop? Is she a slut?’”

Against the expectations of the network, Crane recalled that. “The audience all came back with, ‘No, we still like her.’” On the other hand, Meyer was convinced to keep the sequence saying “‘she gets what she deserves when the guy sort of screws her over.’”

Ben Hornery
Ben Hornery
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.
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