This weekend, after many years and countless repeats on E4, the channel will broadcast the final episode of Friends. The sitcom was shown so often on the channel that the continuity announcers would often joke about an episode of Friends being followed by yet another one, but like the repeats of The Simpsons on Sky 1 (a series that, at least, is still continuing to produce new episode), it often gets some of the channel’s best ratings of the day. But after Sunday night’s 8pm showing of 2004’s finale, the channel will have to come up with new ways to fill the schedule.
And there have been a few announcements about the new series to fill those gaps on E4. Noel Fielding’s previously announced Boopus has been renamed Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, a psychedelic half filmed, half animated comedy. Show & Tell features Chris Addison and three up and coming comics each week, who each bring some things to ‘show’ and ‘tell’ the audience all about. Cardinal Burns is a sketch show written and performed by Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns, while The Midnight Beast is a musical sitcom about bandmates who are also flatmates. There are some new American comedy series coming to the channel as well, including Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Elisha Cuthbert in Happy Endings and 2 Broke Girls from the creator of Sex and the City.
However, it’s certainly not the last we’ve seen of Friends on our screens. From the 1st of October, it’ll be seen on Comedy Central, where it’ll be shown from the very first episode. No big deal, you might think, if you’ve seen each episode roughly a hundred times already – but there is something new they can bring to the table. Despite being made in the early 90s, each episode was shot on 35mm film, a format which captures a huge amount of detail, meaning that just like older movies, it’s been able to be remastered in high definition. Watching an early episode of Friends is like looking through a gauze with Vaseline smeared on your eyes in a particularly dim room, so it’ll be nice to be able to watch the episodes from before the writing went downhill in crisp HD.