Could you be any more excited?
The stars of Friends have officially signed on for an unscripted reunion special, which will be exclusive to HBO Max and available at launch, the streaming service and said cast announced on Friday.
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will return to the series’ original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, Calif., for a celebration of the beloved comedy. All six of them will executive-produce alongside original series EPs Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, as well as Ben Winston (The Late Late Show With James Corden), who is on board to direct.
Reports from earlier this month said that each returning cast member will be paid in the $3-4 million range. (This special, to reiterate, is unscripted, and won’t be a full-fledged revival of the beloved NBC sitcom.)
“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,” Kevin Reilly, CCO of HBO Max (and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV), said in statement. “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 Friends cast, minus Perry, previously reunited in 2016 for an NBC special that paid tribute to legendary TV director James Burrows. The last time all six of them appeared on screen together was during a post-series finale interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on May 7, 2004.
More than a dozen mini-reunions have taken place since Friends ended over 15 years ago. Cox, LeBlanc, Perry and Schwimmer all appeared on Kudrow’s Web Therapy, while Aniston, Kudrow and Perry guest-starred on Cox’s Cougar Town. (TVLine’s comprehensive list of Friends reunions can be found here.)
The original 10-season run of Friends left Netflix on Jan. 1, and is set to join HBO Max when the new streaming service launches in May. Just don’t expect a scripted reunion to follow: Kauffman nixed the idea last March, saying that a Friends revival “could only disappoint.”
Is word of a full-fledged Friends reunion just “kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic”? Hit the comments with your immediate reactions.