Friends Day: The One Where We Rank the Cast's Follow-Ups — Episodes, People v. O.J., Cougar Town and More

Friends Day might be a made-up holiday to honor the 12-year anniversary of Facebook, but here at TVLine, we’re taking the opportunity to think about our history with a different set of Friends.

While some of the stars of the beloved ’90s comedy — Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston — have gone on to star in creative triumphs (think Cougar TownThe Comeback and The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), others haven’t been so lucky. (And one of ’em avoided risk by never taking a series-regular role again!)

In honor of the alleged holiday, we’ve gone ahead and ranked all 11 of the cast’s post-Friends TV shows, beginning with an obvious worst and making our way to the very best.

Browse the gallery below — or click here for direct access — then hit the comments and tell us which follow-up project was your fave.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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37 Comments
  1. N says:

    Web Therapy!

  2. Grace says:

    Great list! I would have put Episodes and The Comeback at numbers 1 and 2 personally, but I wasn’t a Cougar Town fan and feel it’s too soon to rank American Crime Story. But oh man, I hadn’t thought about Joey or Dirt in a while. A list of their post-Friends movies would probably look similar: from Ed to The Good Girl, there was quite a range there, too!

  3. Steven says:

    I knew Dirt would be listed as one of the worst but I really enjoyed that show. Stupid writers strike ruined so many shows with potential.

  4. reboot says:

    I am probably in the minority, but while I think Joy was really bad at first, they turned it around when they introduced Joey’s friend (middle of season 2?). He was funny and brought something good to the show. Too late for sure, but I would’ve continued to watch.

    I thought Episodes was going to be at the very least number 2. Not every episode is great, but overall it’s very fun.

    Speaking of which, anybody knows when Episodes is coming back? Normally it’s february but so far, I haven’t been able to find info on it. Is there a sabbatical?

  5. Larry says:

    I lvoed Joey, Mr. Sunshine, Go One, Odd Couple and Cougar Town, didn’t care for the rest of the list.

  6. DreamRose311 says:

    I love the Comeback but I can’t rank it that high because of how painfully awkward it is at times. And I didn’t watch West Wing until after Studio 60, so much of the ‘retreading’ complaints don’t bug me at all. And the heart in Go On made it a must for me. I’d have to order them like this I think… (leaving out Dirt and Joey because I never watched them, and ACS:OJ because I haven’t watched the first episode yet, but even if I had it’s definitely way too early to judge)

    Studio 60
    Cougar Town/Episodes tied
    Go On
    Combeback
    Web Therapy
    Mr Sunshine
    Odd Couple (please let season 2 be much better)

  7. Guy says:

    American Crime Story is ranked far too high, it has only aired a single episode! Episodes, Cougar Town, and Web Therapy are all better shows.
    Also, Dirt was a pretty fun guilty pleasure in its first season. The second season got a bit too silly.

  8. Mak says:

    1) Episodes
    2) The Comeback
    3) People v OJ

  9. ndixit says:

    Go On was actually really good! There was a bitter sweetness to the whole show which worked wonders. That’s the one cancellation that pisses me off because it was a show which deserved a chance to grow. Perry was also pretty amazing in Studio 60, which makes me wish he would try some dramas. I understand why the show got cancelled though, despite great work by Perry and Whitford. It did have some of Sorkin’s most insufferable political machinations thrust at the audience. Episodes was a stroke of wonder for Le Blanc who looked like he would fade away to oblivion. He’s really terrific in it. Never saw the Comeback but I am not surprised that Kidrow’s acting got so much praise. She and Perry always struck me as the best actors in the cast. Never cared for Cougar Town or Dirt. Schwimmer has basically not been on tv till now. Hope he has a good comeback.

    • CaptainOats says:

      I sooo agree about Go On. It was really different in tone from anything else on tv at the time. It had some of the weird energy of Community but none of the cynicism and was really a sweet show. Mr Show was enjoyable too, but it was obvious they had no plan for where they were going w/ it. Go On seemed really flushed out right away and the cast played of ea other so well. I was really sad to see it go. And yes, totally agree about Perry’s ability doing drama. He’s great on the Good Wife too. He should really try a drama after Odd Couple gets cancelled.

  10. Wendy says:

    My top three would be Cougar Town, Episodes and Studio 60.

  11. toadette16 says:

    You only listed 5 Friends cast members – poor Ross.

  12. c-mo says:

    My list of favorites in order:
    Studio 60
    Go On
    Cougar Town
    Mr. Sunshine
    The Odd Couple
    Dirt, Episodes, Web Therapy, The Comeback and PvOJ: ACS tied (I haven’t seen any of them)
    Joey

  13. steven says:

    Jennifer Aniston must be jealous. All her co-stars had their own shows post-Friends except her.

  14. MSW says:

    I actually really like the odd couple. Not in an I have to watch it every week kind of way, but season one was one of those shows that I found somewhat charming in an interesting way and made me laugh when I was in a bad mood.

    Can someone explain the charm of the comeback to me? I watched it because of how much love it gets on this website, and honestly I just don’t get it. I kept waiting for it to get better but I found it horribly unentertaining and awkward.

    • ChrisGa says:

      With you on the Comeback; as much as I loved Lisa Kudrow on Friends her acting is just too off kilter–and not in a funny way–for my tastes in that show(also not fond of Web Therapy for the same reason). It’s really all about Cougar Town for me, especially the first three seasons; Courtney Cox, Christa Miller and Busy Philipps gave three of the finest, funniest performances not nominated for Emmys that I’ve ever seen.

  15. You forgot to put in the Worst category almost every Jennifer Aniston Movie that she has ever made. how this woman has been given about 25 different chances to prove herself on the big screen off of one smirk she has, and failed time after time. . We will all be baffled and look back 10 years from now and say How did that happen? I am not a troll I am just stating the facts.

  16. Babybop728 says:

    It’s been years and years but my family and I are still sad about Go On getting cancelled.

  17. Ryan says:

    There have actually been some really solid shows. I’m personally a big fan of Matt Perry and Studio 60 was absolutely brilliant – gone too soon!! My favorite of his sitcoms was probably Mr Sunshine.

    Cougar Town has been enjoyable but Episodes for me would absolutely come in at number 1 just a brilliantly executed piece of satire.

    I know I’ll cop abuse but Joey is really not that bad – compared to Friends sure it had big faults but I think the show had some heart I enjoyed the 2 seasons that aired.

  18. lordofluck says:

    I really enjoyed Studio 60 and especially Go On thought they both deserved more seasons.

  19. Ram510 says:

    COUGAR TOWN!!!!!! That’s one of my all time favorite shows, I love Cougar Town. They need to do a movie.
    I also liked Joey and Episodes is a good show.
    I really liked Go On and was surprised NBC didn’t bring it back for a second season

  20. norwegian says:

    You forgot David Schwimmer when summarizing the names of the stars.

  21. Ah Studio 60. Killed by the buzz before it ever aired.
    Mr. Sunshine was under-rated
    GoOn was adorable.

    The Odd Couple needs work.

    I was never a “Friends” fan, but it’s become very obvious that I am a Matt Perry fan.

  22. Reba says:

    Go On was definitely the best!! I laughed so much watching it! It also had so many sweet moments. I was so upset it got cancelled but even more upset when they didn’t even offer a DVD release!! I would still buy it in a heartbeat!

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