Friends was almost a very different show, even if the original six characters was always the plan. In Saul Austerlitz new book Generation Friends, it was brought up that NBC wanted there to be a seventh main character added to the cast, offering a more "mature" counterpoint to the rest of the cast. This would have undoubtedly changed the group dynamic of the sitcom, but creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane even gave it a show.
The character was to be named "Pat the Cop," as Entertainment Weekly reports. Named after a police officer writers Jeff Greenstein and Jeff Strauss knew in real life, the duo delivered a script and even casted the role. It's not clear who was going to star as Pat, but the result was reportedly so bad that NBC agreed to simply get older guest stars to feature alongside recurring roles from each of the main character's parents.
In 2004, creators Kauffman and Crane explained that Pat didn't go down quite as well as NBC hoped. "We even tried it. At one point we even wrote a draft of an early episode, but it had, oh God, some cop who came in," Crane said in 2004. "We were all going, this is terrible." That wasn't the only thing NBC was originally worried about after the pilot episode was filmed, as the network originally believed viewers wouldn't like Monica because she slept with someone on the first date.
Needless to say, 1994 was a very different time for television.