Jennifer Aniston almost missed out on `Friends`

London: Actress Jennifer Aniston almost missed out on her breakthrough role in hit sitcom `Friends` because she was contracted to star on another TV show.

NBC network bosses thought of Aniston as the perfect person to portray Rachel Green when they were presented with the comedy.

But Aniston had yet to sign a contract to officially join the show by the time it was ready to go into production in 1994, reported Daily Star.

TV executive Warren Littlefield says they took a huge risk keeping the 43-year-old on the project instead of simply recasting the role - because they weren`t completely sure if she would be able to quit her other job.

"We had a little difficulty. She had actually signed on to do a series at CBS and we had to take her in second position. We did the pilot that way, and she still wasn`t available.

"We had to go into series production throwing millions of dollars at risk and we still did not have the rights to go forward with Jennifer," Littlefield said.

Aniston was eventually able to commit to `Friends` and the programme went on to become one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, winning multiple awards, including Emmy and Golden Globe honours - and launching her career.

The sitcom also starred Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer.