Tearful fans wave goodbye regretfully, detractors snarl "good riddance" - Friends gets the big bon voyage tonight:
- THE LAST ONE - Series Finale
8:59pm 2004-05-06 ALL NEW!
"FRIENDS" SERIES FINALE - AFTER TEN YEARS THE FRIENDS PREPARE TO SAY GOODBYE — Filled with humor and bittersweet emotion, the series finale of "Friends" finds Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross embarking on the next chapters in their lives. The six of them have been there for each other through all the ups and downs of becoming adults. Now it's their last day together, and it's one of momentous events and last-minute surprises. Even as the friends make major decisions on their futures, there is a bond between them that will last forever - no matter where their paths lead. TV-14
and various other nonsense and electronic knickknacks.
Advertisers are paying Super Bowl rates for the show - maybe Janet Jackson will appear halfway through:
- Advertisers are paying up to $2 million for 30 seconds on the "Friends" finale this week, making it the Super Bowl of sitcoms.
That puts Thursday's one-hour finale, which NBC has estimated will draw an audience of at least 50 million people, second in price only to the Super Bowl this year. CBS took in $2.3 million for a half-minute of ad time on the Super Bowl.
The Academy Awards took in $1.5 million per 30-second ad spot on ABC.
"This is one of those rare media events," said Charlie Rutman, president of Carat USA, a major buyer of advertising time for large companies. "It's a program that has captured a generation and a lifestyle for 10 years. It's become more than just a television program."
Some of the companies advertising in Thursday's finale, like Hewlett-Packard and Gatorade, are debuting new commercials on Thursday, just like companies do for the Super Bowl.
Hewlett-Packard's ad will show how the company's technology helped create the animation for the upcoming "Shrek 2" movie, said Scott Berg, director of worldwide media for the company.
Debuting a new ad "makes it that much more special and it sets you apart from those on the stage who might just be running more typical ads," he said.