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NBC plans 'blowout' for 'Friends'

Jan. 14, 2004 at 1:47 PM

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The long-running and highly popular NBC series "Friends" will go off the air with a two-hour finale on May 16, the network announced Wednesday.

Jeff Zucker, president of NBC's Entertainment, News and Cable Group, announced that the send-off will include an hourlong retrospective of memorable scenes from the show's 10-year run, followed by a one-hour series finale.

"We're planning a proper blowout for this wildly popular comedy that put the 'must' in 'Must See TV,'" said Zucker.

On the same night as the series finale, NBC will air a special edition of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" shot at the "Friends" Central Perk set of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif., with appearances by show stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

"Friends" -- one of NBC's most successful ratings hits ever -- has received 55 Emmy nominations, including six for Outstanding Comedy Series. The show won the top Emmy in 2003.

The cast won a Screen Actors Guild Award in 1996 for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Series. The show won the People's Choice Award for Favorite New Comedy Series four times.

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