Hi Emma, it’s the year 2020 and it is confirmed that a Friends reunion special is in works. According to the cast of “Friends” “it’s happening” after almost 16 years of speculation and rumors. All the “Friends” have announced this on Instagram by posting the same photo with the caption “it’s happening,” (Well, Matt LeBlanc, being Joey, posted a photo of M*A*S*H cast). HBO has confirmed all six cast members will be returning for a “Friends reunion.”
Set to be one of the exclusive launch titles for HBO’s new streaming service HBO Max, the friends reunion is set to start streaming in May of this year. The bad news for some Friends fans is that this will be a one-off standalone hour-long special so, we, unfortunately, won’t be seeing a reunion season like “Will & Grace.” It is still not confirmed but it is being speculated that this reunion will be a talk show with Ellen DeGeneres, as along with all the cast members, Ellen also posted a morphed photo, of what other cast members have posted, with the caption “We’re back’
Warner Media has made the following statement “series stars Jennifer Aniston, Courtney 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 for a celebration of the beloved show. The unscripted cast reunion special, along with all 236 episodes of the Emmy-winning series, will be available to subscribers at the launch of HBO Max.”
Now this means it won’t be a return of the sitcom itself but, rather a celebration of the show and it’s a shame to think we may not see the actual cast back in character. But, let’s talk about their pay. Back during the original run of Friends, the cast earned an unprecedented $1 million dollars per episode. The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the cast will now earn more than double that wage and will be receiving approximately between $2.5 million and $3 million dollars just for the reunion.
Warner Media has confirmed “Ben Winston will direct the special and will executive produce along with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. The special hails from Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and Fulwell 73 Productions. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer will also executive produced the special”
Director Ben Winston has recently been working on James Corden’s Late Late Show producing segments like “Carpool Karaoke” and “Dropped the Mic.” He has posted to Twitter saying he couldn’t BE more excited to be directing and producing this friend special for HBO Max.
It is disappointing that it won’t be returning as an actual sitcom as we would have loved to see a more suburban side to the characters. Seeing Monica and Chandler living a settled domestic life with Joey in an apartment above the garage would be what would like to see.