Even though Friends ended seventeen years ago, the show remains one of the most popular pieces of sitcom programming ever created. So much so that HBO wanted to kickstart their new HBO Max streaming service with a Friends special reunion episode. The special was scrapped in view of the global health emergency last year. In a recent interview, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay on the show, confirmed that they still plan to shoot the special in “the early spring”.
“There’s different facets to it; some already-shot packages of things. I don’t know, fully. I really don’t, but I pre-shot something for it already, so we’re definitely doing it, because I already shot a little something.”
After Friends ended, the main cast of actors went on to varying success in film and television. Over the years, while the six leads always expressed affection for each other and their time spent together on the show, they also reiterated their desire to move on from the legacy of the show. David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston were particularly adamant about wanting to explore different roles as actors instead of always being known as Ross and Rachel.
But while the actors tried to move on, the world refused to. Friends has been playing on one channel or another all over the world for the past two decades, and streaming channels only boosted the popularity of the show. Everywhere the six leads went, on talk shows and during interviews, they were always asked about Friends, and whether the actors might be getting back together for a reunion show.
In the past, all the actors firmly negated all rumors of a reunion. But then HBO Max entered the equation. Warner needed a sure-shot, people-pleasing program to kickstart their brand-new streaming platform, and they decided the Friends Reunion Special will be that show. The six leads were given gigantic payouts to agree to the reunion, and Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, announced the triumphant arrival of HBO Max with the Friends reunion special.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends. Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries – Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) – and two of the most experienced digital experts – Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell – I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”
The reunion special is not going to be a new scripted episode of Friends, but rather will feature the six leads gathering together onscreen to talk about the show and explore its legacy. Hopefully, the special will not be delayed any further, and fans will finally be able to watch the gang back together again. This news arrives from the Walking Into Rooms podcast.