Friends fans have been closely analysing the show after the past few weeks - because Jennifer Aniston's character RACHEL appears to have abandoned her baby.

Aniston's fictional daughter EMMA, conceived with David Schwimmer's character ROSS, arrived into the world late last year (02) on the hit comedy.

But in recent episodes, Rachel has been shown at various locations like the coffee shop and the spa - as well as on dates - without reasonable mentions of her offspring.

Writer MICHAEL SPEIER of Hollywood trade publication DAILY VARIETY notes, "The fact that today's top-rated comedy would play the birth card for all its worth as did last season - and then pull the plug - is a little strange.

"The history of recent TV tots may provide the motivation. MURPHY BROWN showcased Candice Bergen's kid - and then got rid of it - while MAD ABOUT YOU ratings took a dive after baby MABEL was featured over and over again."

09/05/2003 01:40