jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Courtney Cox Arquette: Debbie VanStory/Keystone USA/ZUMA Press/NewsCom
Gary Susman
September 30, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

For ”Friends” fanatics, the fact that the final season will have only 18 episodes instead of the usual 22 to 24 is the pits — or is it the Pitts? The reason for the shortened season may be Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s desire to start a family, the New York Post reports. One Hollywood insider tells the Post that Aniston is the one Friend who balked at returning for a 10th season this year and agreed to do so only if the series wrapped early.

Pitt had reportedly grumbled about the prospect of a tenth season, since it would postpone the couple’s babymaking plans for a year. “Brad was really angry when she went back for another year,” the Post source says. ”It’s not like they — or anyone else on ‘Friends’ – needs the money.” The insider added, ”The rest of the cast wanted one more year and she felt a lot of pressure. But she also wants to keep Brad happy. So Jennifer said she would do one more year, but insisted on only 18 shows and that filming would be done by January.”

Aniston’s spokesman, Stephen Huvane, insisted that all six Friends were behind the current schedule, which has them shooting two episodes a week. ”Everything they do is by a majority,” Huvane told the Post. ”It was to everybody’s advantage to be done filming by January.” Everybody but NBC and ”Friends” fans, that is.

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