Saturday, May 21, 2016

The One With The Stolen Opening Credits

Way back when the NBC TV show "Friends" was new, its opening credits bothered me.
I thought it was a straight up rip-off of the opening credits for another TV show that had starred Ellen Degeneres.

Not the theme song.
The thing that was ripped off was the part that has all the friends sitting together on a couch with a lamp outside in the park.

Plus, I was annoyed by the name of the show.
I was pretty sure the sit-com that Ellen had been in had also had a title that was similar to "Friends".  Specifically, I thought her show had been called "These Friends of Mine" or "These So-Called Friends of Mine".  But by the time NBC's "Friends" premiered, Ellen's ABC show was being called "Ellen", so I couldn't prove anything.  And I figured I may have been mistaken.

Well, I recently started binge-watching "Friends" on Netflix, and the whole couch in the park with the lamp thing started rubbing on my nerves again.   This time, I went to the www, and I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!

My query "wasn't ellen degeneres in a tv show called these friends of mine?" brought me this answer:  Yeah.  There was a show called "These Friends of Mine", and Ellen Degeneres was one member of an ensemble cast.  However, her character was so strong, the show was reworked putting her character in the forefront, and it was renamed "Ellen".

Further digging found that "These Friends of Mine" aired on ABC beginning in March of 1994.
The sit-com "Friends" premiered on NBC September 1994.

And I continued to search for videos of the opening title sequences. 

At the very end of the opening credits, characters from both shows are on a couch.  Outdoors.  With a lamp.
Maybe this bothers me way more than it should, but watch the two show opens yourself, and tell me if you worked at ABC and had put together the opening sequence, wouldn't you think NBC had kinda sorta ripped off your really cool idea? 

Here's the one from "These Friends of Mine/Ellen":

And here's the one from "Friends" six months later:

For most of two decades, I've known this.
And now you can never *not* know it.

You're welcome.


Jessica P said...

I can never un-know that now.
I think...

Jessica P said...

JANICE was in Ellen's how!! Maggie Wheeler!


Roses said...

I would have totally responding with Oh. My. Gawd. if you hadn't beat me to it. :-)

Thumper said...

I frickin loved Ellen's show. Still mad that it didn't make it.