‘Friends’ Reunion Special Officially A Go At HBO Max With Cast Returning
It’s official. Months after the 25th anniversary of the launch of Friends, the cast will be reuniting exclusively for an untitled unscripted special for HBO Max. It will be directed by Ben Winston and produced by Fulwell 73 (The Late Late Show with James Corden) and Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television.
Series stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer will return to the iconic comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank to film the reunion special. The sextet also will serve as executive producers alongside Friends creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane.
The special, along with all 236 episodes of the Emmy-winning 1994-2004 NBC series, will be available to subscribers at the launch of HBO Max in May.
As Deadline reported earlier this month, following tough negotiations, the Friends cast reached an agreement in principle with series’ producer Warner Bros. TV to do the hourlong special. According to sources, each of the six stars will be paid in the $3 million-$4 million range for the reunion.
“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,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV. “I became aware of Friendswhen 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.
”Winston will direct the special and will executive produce along with Bright, Kauffman and Crane as well as Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry and Schwimmer. Emma Conway and James Longman are co-executive producers. The special hails from Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and Fulwell 73 Productions.
The special is designed to help launch Friends reruns on HBO Max. The streamer shelled out $425 million for rights to the hugely popular sitcom, which has emerged as one of Netflix’s biggest hits.
Friends has been in the zeitgeist with the worldwide celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary. Aniston’s selfie with her Friends co-stars Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry and Schwimmer set a Guinness World Record for the fastest to reach 1 million followers, underscoring just how hugely popular the show continues to be.
With the entire Friends cast now on Instagram after Matthew Perry recently joined the platform, the six took to social media to simultaneously announce the special via a video post.