Friends fans must have made the Holiday Armadillo's nice list this year, because that reunion special we've been clamoring for over the years is finally, officially happening. TV Guide could not be any more excited to confirm that all six stars of the hit NBC sitcom — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc — will be joining forces for an unscripted event at HBO Max, the new WarnerMedia streaming service that will feature the series on its library.
HBO Max confirmed the news on Friday, with chief content officer Kevin Reilly saying in a statement, "Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library. I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends - and audiences - gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans."
The special will be filmed at the original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. lot and will be directed by Ben Winston with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane returning to executive produce the special. All six stars are also executive producers on the special, and Emma Conway and James Longman are also co-executive producers.
HBO Max will make the special available to subscribers, alongside all 236 episodes of the series, when the streaming service launches in May. To celebrate, TBS is also airing every episode of Friends on the network weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and livestreaming on the TBS app. They have also created an experience offering the best of the series on their digital platforms.
The cast also announced the special on their social media pages Friday.
The event was first rumored to be in the works back in November 2019. In January, Reilly clarified to reporters that it was still a "maybe" at that point, but in February, the six stars of Friends were reported to have reached a deal with the WarnerMedia streaming service to star in the reunion special. They will reportedly earn around $3-4 million apiece for their appearance. Now, to paraphrase a line from Joey Tribbiani, all the secrecy is over, and the Friends reunion special is so a go. Let's get bamboozled, people! Check out our wishlist for the reunion special right here.
Friends will be a marquee element of HBO Max's library when it launches in May. The streaming service nabbed the rights to host the hit NBC sitcom in July 2019, thereby ending its five-year streaming run at Netflix. Netflix previously forked over $100 million to keep the show on its service for another year, after its original deal expired at the end of 2018.
HBO Max's event will mark the first time all six stars of Friends have reunited on screen since the sitcom's 1994-2004 run on NBC. They have, however, crossed paths in other forms since the show went off the air. Upon joining Instagram in 2019, Jennifer Aniston shared a rare photo of the Central Perk crew all together again, which was the first time fans had seen all of them together in years. In 2016, five of the cast members joined forces to celebrate James Burrows, who directed the pilot and several other Friends episodes and helped to shape the mood and themes of the show at the outset. However, Matthew Perry was unavailable for that event, which kept it from being a complete cast reunion.
Several of the stars have also appeared on each other's post-Friends projects, and a few of them even got together for talk show mini-revivals on Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel Live. But this long-anticipated reunion brings them all back together on screen at last.
Friends and the unscripted cast reunion special will be available to stream on HBO Max when the service launches in May.
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