C4 Explain How They’ll Fill ‘Thousand Hour’ Gap Left By Friends

With only a few months until C4 pull the plug on the stream of never-ending Friends repeats which punctuate our early-evening viewing, Channel 4 have today explained how they will fill the hole left by the show’s departure to Comedy Central.

E4 shows over 1,000 hours of the American sitcom per year, but this will all come to an end on 30th September and a channel supervisor explained that the move will be a positive one for C4.

“It is a sign of E4’s maturity that we are able to be a bit more creative and competitive,” he told Broadcast. “We can play movies from 8pm to 10pm because some of our titles are 12 certificates and feel a bit young for 9pm, and we can also ramp up our US comedies.

“Broadly speaking, Friends has played in the 5pm and 8pm slots for years. All that money coming back in [from not renewing the licence] means that there is a degree of richness and a bit more ambition, and we are rapidly developing ideas.”

Current E4 shows such as The Inbetweeners, Tool Academy and Made In Chelsea are expected to fill in (presumably with more repeats) but the channel has also signed a raft of new American comedies to help plug the gap. Happy Endings, which will launch in September, Zooey Deschanel’s New Girl, James Van Der Beek’s Apartment 23 and animation series Napoleon Dynamite and Allen Gregory are all expected to be successful over the coming year.