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Not 'Friends' Anymore: An Update on the Cast's Post-Show Careers

by Rich Keller, posted Jun 17th 2010 5:30PM
Courteney Cox and Jennifer AnistonIn January, we ran an item ranking the career paths of the 'Friends' cast members since the show ended in 2004. Back then, the only solid news we had was the early renewal of Courtney Cox's 'Cougar Town.' Meanwhile, there was some speculation on new TV projects coming up from Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc.

Turns out five months makes a lot of difference! Since that time Perry, Kudrow, and LeBlanc have all been given greenlights for their shows. Over the next year, four out of the six 'Friends' cast members could have programs on either the major networks or pay cable.

Here's an updated status of who's involved where, plus some additional information on the supporting characters that were connected with the show during its decade on the air.

Courtney CoxCourteney Cox
-- Renewed for a second season way back in January, 'Cougar Town' is now a solid part of ABC's Wednesday comedy lineup. Much of that credit can be given to the direction the show has taken. Instead of the story focusing just on Cox's character, the program has evolved into a strong ensemble comedy that, when you think of it, may be the older, suburban version of 'Friends.'

Lisa KudrowLisa Kudrow -- After her HBO series 'The Comeback,' Kudrow took a break from regular series. After a few small movie and TV roles, including a guest spot on 'Cougar Town' back in the winter, Kudrow is coming back strong with not one, but two television projects. First is NBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?', which Kudrow executive produces and was renewed for a second season. Second is the move of her successful web series 'Web Therapy' to Showtime. Infused with newly filmed segments, 'Web Therapy' will be upgraded to a standard 30-minute comedy.

Matthew PerryMatthew Perry -- Things are looking up for Perry after his lackluster movie career and the disaster that was 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.' The former Chandler Bing will be joining former co-star Cox on ABC with the new comedy 'Mr. Sunshine,' which was officially picked up by the network..

Matt LeBlancMatt LeBlanc -- When you think of Matt LeBlanc the phrase 'fell off the face of the earth' probably comes to mind. However, things may be turning around now that he's part of the new Showtime/BBC2 comedy series 'Episodes.' From a teaser preview released a few months ago, this may be the hit LeBlanc thought 'Joey' would be for him.

Jennifer AnistonJennifer Aniston -- Jennifer Aniston's career is a strange one. While she's considered a movie star and has made a few TV appearances since 'Friends' ended, she's really not that busy. Yet, she's always in 'People' or in one of the tabloids for some reason. With an OK movie career it might not be a bad idea for her to come back to television full-time to headline a new show.

David SchwimmerDavid Schwimmer -- Out of all the 'Friends' cast members it seems that Schwimmer is the least likely to return to TV full-time. Turning his attention to theater, David recently ended a role in the Broadway production of 'The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.' He also completed a successful three-month run of the play 'Trust,' which he co-wrote and directed. The play, which depicts the tragic circumstances of an apparently innocent online encounter, has been optioned out as a film. If things go right, David may be the most successful of all the 'Friends' cast members.

As for the supporting cast and recurring guest stars...

Jon Favreau -- After portraying Monica's boyfriend in season 3, Favreau kept busy with a number of jobs, including voice acting roles in shows like 'Buzz Lightyear of Star Command' and 'G-Force.' He also went behind the camera as director of the movies 'Elf' and 'Zathura: A Space Adventure.' Oh, and he directed and produced a little-known movie called 'Iron Man' and its sequel. Overall, not too shabby.

Tom Selleck -- Things have gone well since Selleck appeared as Monica's much older boyfriend in the 2nd season of 'Friends.' He portrayed General Dwight Eisenhower in the award-winning 'Ike: Countdown to D-Day' and ended up as the new owner of the Montecito during the last season of 'Las Vegas.' Since 1995 he's portrayed Chief Jesse Stone in a series of CBS made-for-TV movies based on the Robert B. Parker novels. Come this fall he'll be coming back to CBS in the new crime drama 'Blue Bloods' as a New York City police chief.

Tate Donovan -- Aniston's love interest during the show's fourth season, Donovan hasn't been lacking work. After spending a few years voicing a number of Disney animated characters, Donovan landed a role as Jimmy Cooper on the teen soap 'The O.C.' Right after that he portrayed Tom Shayes on 'Damages.' He was supposed to be part of the cast of the new ABC super-hero series 'No Ordinary Family,' but was recently let go due to re-tooling of the pilot.

Paul Rudd -- Phoebe's boyfriend and eventual husband during the last few seasons of 'Friends,' Rudd made the big time shortly after the show ended as part of the hit movies 'Anchorman' and 'The 40 Year-Old Virgin.' He's also appeared in 'Night at the Museum,' 'Knocked Up,' and 'Reno 911!' He is creator and currently one of the producers of the Starz comedy 'Party Down.'

James Michael Tyler -- You may not know his real name, but in the 'Friends' universe he was known simply as Gunther, the head coffee guy at Central Perk. Tyler hasn't done much since the show ended; appearing as himself in a number of VH1/TV Land compilation shows about the greatest TV shows and romances, It looks like his next project is an independent comedy called 'Jason's Big Problem' about a guy with a small pee-pee who gets a big pee-pee after taking a natural growth product.

Maggie Wheeler -- Ohhh! My! God! Maggie Wheeler's Janice appeared at least once or twice a season, and in a multi-episode arc in season three as Chandler's girlfriend. She's kept herself busy with a number of voice acting and guest-starring roles on such shows as Disney's 'Kim Possible' and 'Suite Life on Deck,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' and 'Without a Trace,' She recently completed a stint as a voice actor on the FX animated series 'Archer.'

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Jenifer Anniston better cherish her 60 minutes of fame. She, Kate Hudson, Owen Wilson, and
Matthew MC Conahey have become infamous for making terrible movies. Anniston's only claim to fame is her hair and the tabloids.

June 23 2010 at 12:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Barbra's comment

I disagree. ALthough I can't think of an Oscar wining performance, she has a very accessible personality and good comedic timing that always makes her fun to watch

February 27 2013 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Odd article. It makes it sound like Rudd and Favreau didn't have booming careers before the debacle that is known as Friends.

June 19 2010 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

Wow could they not have found another picture of Schwimmer his hair looks terrible

June 17 2010 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tony DIMeo's comment

What about Matthew Perrys? It looks like a mug shot.

June 17 2010 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jay Beezy

I wouldn't say Jennifer Aniston isn't that busy. Out of all of her costars, she's the only one who is considered a movie star. Since she's only really doing movies, she gets more breaks compared to those who do TV. When you look at what she has coming up, you'll see that she's quite busy for someone making movies. She's just completed Just Go With It last month, she's starting Horrible Bosses next month, and she starts Wanderlust in the fall. Then after that it's potentially one of the many movies she has in development, possibly.

June 17 2010 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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