Friends is undoubtedly one of the most popular sitcoms with fans globally watching it multiple times and referencing in their daily lives. Meanwhile, the much-anticipated Friends reunion special, which had been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus-led production shutdown, is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.
But did you know, the iconic show was once adapted in Hindi and aired on Zee TV as Hello Friends. It starred former MTV VJ’s Cyrus Broacha, Maria Goretti, Nikhil Chinapa alongside Simone Singh, Anil Dimri, and Aparna Bannerjee. However, Hello Friends failed at recreating the magic of the original show and was pulled off the air by the network after only 26 episodes.
The show premiered on September 6, 1999, and concluded on February 20, 2000, while the original show went on to rule hearts and the rating charts for many more years to come.
In an old interview, Hello Friends creator Ajit Pal had stated, “They are the idols of the youth who are a readymade audience for the show. The jokes are very Indian.” For the unversed, the Hindi show ended up being a poor attempt at emulating the success of its American counterpart and was also a scene-to-scene replica of the original.
Hello Friends had Cyrus play Chandler Bing, Maria as Phoebe Buffay, Nikhil as Ross Geller, Simone as Monica Geller, Anil as Joey Tribbiani, and Aparna as Rachel Green who would all hang out at a café named Uncle Sam’s similar to Central Perk. The episodes of the Hindi show are now available to view on YouTube.