101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1994-2004

Co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane met in the theater program at Brandeis; by the time they created Friends, they had added a third partner, Kevin Bright, with whom they'd worked on the pilot of the HBO series Dream On. "We wanted something that felt over-caffeinated," Kauffman said in Written By of Friends. The energy of a sitcom about being in New York in your 20s, at loose ends, thrived alongside the chemistry of the show's young, attractive cast. Kauffman said the writers came to realize that Friends worked best when the entire ensemble was onstage. If a character went on a date, for instance, that scene didn't necessarily need to be in the show, since it worked better to have her describing the date to the others. "With Friends, that's where it works best to put them all in a room together," Kauffman said.

Matt LeBlanc & Courteney Cox present Marta Kauffman & David Crane the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award

Credited Writers

Doty Abrams
Jeffrey Astrof
Sherry Bilsing-Graham
Dana Klein Borkow
Michael Borkow
Betsy Borns
Brian Boyle
Chris Brown
Brian Buckner
Brian Caldirola
Wil Calhoun
Robert Carlock
Adam Chase
Ted Cohen
Jill Condon
David Crane
Michael Curtis
Earl Davis
R. Lee Fleming, Jr.
Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Richard Goodman
Jeff Greenstein
Sebastian Jones
Alexa Junge
Marta Kauffman
Dana Klein
Mark J. Kunerth
Seth Kurland
David J. Lagana
Pang-Ni Landrum
Bill Lawrence
Patty Lin
Greg Malins
Brown Mandell
Vanessa McCarthy
Gigi McCreery
Ellen Plummer
Andrew Reich
Tracy Reilly
Perry Rein
Zachary Rosenblatt
Steven Rosenhaus
Judd Rubin
Mike Sikowitz
Scott J. Silveri
Jeff Strauss
Peter Tibbals
Amy Toomin
Ira Ungerleider
Alicia Sky Varinaitis
Suzie Villandry