Stephen M. Silverman
September 26, 2003 02:21 PM

While the old “Friends” sort themselves out, a new one will be joining the gang: Greg Kinnear, who will come aboard during the November sweeps and cause Ross (David Schwimmer) some additional woes, PEOPLE reports in its latest cover story.

The final season of “Friends” premiered Thursday night on NBC, and the story line picked up where it left off last spring — with a kiss between Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) as the gang congregated at a convention in Barbados.

As for what happened during the remainder of the half-hour, consult your TiVo. (Okay: After the kiss, Rachel told Joey to act “nonchalant,” which left him clueless and admitting, “I don’t know what it means.”)

For the remainder of the season, PEOPLE offers several clues about what’s next. For starters, Joey and Rachel will continue their relationship, which means she has to handle the hurt feelings of the father of her child, Ross.

As for how Ross will cope, the magazine says he’ll be taking some comfort in his relationship with Charlie (Aisha Tyler), a gorgeous paleontologist who has already worked her charms on Joey.

Come November sweeps, however, Charlie’s ex-lover (played by Kinnear, 40) will show up. Kinnear will play a Nobel Prize-winning paleontologist who puts Ross’s grant money in jeopardy when it’s revealed that Ross and Charlie are co-habitating.

PEOPLE also reveals that Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) will turn up the heat on her relationship with Mike (Paul Rudd), and the onetime surrogate mom must advise her brother, Frank Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi), on handling his triplets.

Meanwhile, Monica (Courteney Cox Arquette) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) will agree to adopt a child, though Chandler will commit “an unpardonable act” when they visit an adoptive couple.

For more on the "Friends" cast, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, now on newsstands.

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