Friends with Benefits (TV series)

Friends with Benefits (stylized as friends ♥♥ith benefits) is an American romantic sitcom television series created by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber that aired on NBC from August 5 to September 9, 2011. It was originally set to air on as a mid-season replacement during the 2010–11 television season, but was ultimately delayed until summer.[1] The series ended after twelve episodes aired with the thirteenth being only available on iTunes,, and Netflix.

Friends with Benefits
Created by
Composer(s)Matter Music
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (1 unaired) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time21 minutes
Production company(s)Imagine Television
Big Kid Pictures
Pickle Films
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor20th Television
Original networkNBC
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseAugust 5 –
September 9, 2011 (2011-09-09)
External links


The series follows a group of friends living in Chicago. It involves a very close friendship between two of the friends, who are each looking for the perfect mate, and the others who question their relationship, but at the same time, have their own romantic problems to deal with.


  • Ryan Hansen as Ben Lewis, an office drone who is in no rush to find the right girl for him. He has been sleeping with his friend, Sara.
  • Danneel Harris as Sara Maxwell, an OB/GYN and Ben's closest friend. Unlike Ben, she is desperate to find the right guy.
  • Jessica Lucas as Riley Elliot, a bartender and Sara's roommate. She is laid-back and lives a very casual love life.
  • Zach Cregger as Aaron Greenway, a rich, nerdy engineer who wants to meet women but has trouble interacting with them.
  • Andre Holland as Julian 'Fitz' Fitzgerald, Aaron's roommate. He takes it upon himself to help Aaron with women and keep the group on good terms with each other.

Production and developmentEdit

Friends with Benefits was originally developed for ABC with a script order given by the network in September 2009. However, the network did not green-light a pilot for the potential series, allowing NBC to pick up the project.[2] For the pilot episode, Fran Kranz was originally cast as Aaron,[3][4] and Ian Reed Kesler portrayed Hoon (another version of Fitz).[3][4] The series was officially picked up on May 16, 2010.[5]


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"David DobkinScott Neustadter & Michael H. WeberAugust 5, 2011 (2011-08-05)1ASP792.34[6]
Ben searches for a date to his sister's wedding.
2"The Benefit of the Mute Button"Michael Patrick JannClaudia LonowAugust 5, 2011 (2011-08-05)1ASP011.96[6]
Ben and Sara hit pause to pursue their respective love interests.
3"The Benefit of the Unspoken Dynamic"Fred SavageDaley HaggarAugust 12, 2011 (2011-08-12)1ASP021.92[7]
Aaron goes on a bender to cure his heartbreak. Anneliese van der Pol guest stars.
4"The Benefit of Forgetting"Jay ChandrasekharOwen EllicksonAugust 12, 2011 (2011-08-12)1ASP031.75[7]
Ben reaps the benefits of dating a girl with amnesia.
5"The Benefit of the Right Track"Joanna KernsIsaac Aptaker & Elizabeth BergerAugust 19, 2011 (2011-08-19)1ASP071.98[8]
Sara starts a "booty call" relationship with a paramedic without knowing it. Ben finds himself stuck in a serious relationship.
6"The Benefit of Keeping Your Ego in Check"Tricia BrockBrian Keith EtheridgeAugust 19, 2011 (2011-08-19)1ASP091.54[8]
Sara goes on a date with a nerdy guy. Ben is accused of sexual harassment.
7"The Benefit of Mardi Gras"David RogersGene HongAugust 26, 2011 (2011-08-26)1ASP052.58[9]
The whole gang has a wild Mardi Gras. Sara fights with her pregnant sister for a family ring. Aaron thinks that he slept with Riley.
8"The Benefit of Mentors"Rob GreenbergValerie BreimanAugust 26, 2011 (2011-08-26)1ASP061.99[9]
Aaron learns that his high school mentee is a porn star. Riley dates a doctor that Sara admires.
9"The Benefit of Being Shallow"Reginald HudlinValerie BreimanSeptember 2, 2011 (2011-09-02)1ASP081.97[10]
Sara dates a blind guy. Fitz is dating the daughter of Aaron's fling.
10"The Benefit of Avoiding the Mindbanger"John PutchIsaac Aptaker & Elizabeth BergerSeptember 2, 2011 (2011-09-02)1ASP101.76[10]
Ben tries to help Sara to end a bad relationship with an intervention, but he ends up in a similar situation. Rebecca Mader guest stars.
11"The Benefit of Putting in the Work"Eyal GordinDaley HaggarSeptember 9, 2011 (2011-09-09)1ASP112.28[11]
Ben decides to start a business and asks Aaron for help. Sara dates a journalist with a small problem.
12"The Benefit of Friends"Ira UngerleiderOwen EllicksonSeptember 9, 2011 (2011-09-09)1ASP121.90[11]
Riley falls in love for the first time. Ben realizes that he has feelings for Sara.
13"The Benefit of Full Disclosure"[12]Fred SavageIsaac Aptaker & Elizabeth BergerOnly available on iTunes, Netflix (prior to March 31, 2018), and (Only available on iTunes, Netflix (prior to March 31, 2018), and
Sara and Ben go on a double date.

Nielson RatingsEdit

The shows first episode had a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 2.34 million total viewers. As the series progressed it declined to a rating of 0.5 with 1.54 million viewers.[13]


  1. ^ "Exclusive: NBC Bumps "Friends With Benefits" to Fridays Starting August 5". the Futon Critic. June 9, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  2. ^ "NBC Picks Up Friends with Benefits". 17 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b Ausiello, Michael (May 16, 2010). "Breaking: Latest renewal/cancellation scoop". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Harnick, Chris (May 21, 2010). "Pilot Recasts: Five Best Friends That Never Were". TV Squad. AOL, Inc. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "NBC Unveils 2010-11 Primetime Schedule Accented by Five New Comedies, Seven New Dramas and New Alternative Program". The Futon Critic. May 16, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (August 9, 2011). "Friday Final Broadcast Ratings for August 5, 2011 – No Adults 18-49 Adjustments for Originals - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (August 15, 2011). "Friday Final Broadcast Ratings: As Expected, Lots of Downward Adjustments, Particularly for CBS - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (August 22, 2011). "Friday Final Broadcast Ratings: Significant Adjustments Down for ABC, CBS and NBC Including 'Flashpoint' and 'Friends with Benefits' - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Gorman, Bill (August 29, 2011). "Friday Final Broadcast Ratings: No Adjustments For 'Friends With Benefits,' Or 'Karaoke Battle USA' - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Gorman, Bill (September 6, 2011). "Friday Final Broadcast Ratings: 'Friends With Benefits' Adjusted Down; 'Dateline,' '20/20? Adjusted Up - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Gorman, Bill (September 12, 2011). "TV Ratings Friday: 'Dateline' Leads NBC Win; 'Friends With Benefits' Finale, 'Karaoke Battle' Rise - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "The Benefit of Full Disclosure". iTunes. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  13. ^ "Friends with Benefits: cancelled; no season two". 15 May 2012.

External linksEdit