Update: May 13, 2021 – We have updated this article to show that the Friends reunion will finally drop on HBO Max May 27. We also have more info on who will appear on the reunion special besides the main cast members.
Friends changed the sitcom world forever when it debuted in 1994. When the show ended its 10-season run in 2004, it was already one of the most popular TV series of all time, influencing many comedic shows that followed. Now, after 17 years, Ross, Rachel, and the rest may finally be reunited on HBO Max. Yes, we are talking about a Friends reunion.
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So, when can we watch this long-awaited reunion show? Also, will it be an actual episode with the actors playing their characters once again? Read on to find out! You can also sign up for HBO Max at the link below:
What is Friends, anyway?
In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past 30 years, Friends was a sitcom that debuted on NBC in 1994. The premise was simple. It centered on six young adults that hung out in the same New York City apartment building, or their favorite coffee shop, Central Perk. During the 10 seasons of the show, we saw how this group of friends grow up, change, and form romantic relationships.
The show starred Jennifer Aniston as the former rich girl Rachel Green, and David Schwimmer as her off-again, on-again paleontologist boyfriend Ross Geller. Courteney Cox played Ross’s sister, professional chef Monica Geller, while Mathew Perry played Chandler Bing, a “transponster.” The two eventually fell in love, got married, and adopted twins. Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe Buffay, a charmingly weird amateur musician. Finally, Matt LeBlanc took on the role of Joey Tribbiani — a somewhat ditzy character who was a struggling actor.
The series was an instant ratings hit for NBC and remained so for all of its 10 seasons. It reached its all-time ratings high in season two, when it aired an episode right after Super Bowl XXX, bringing in a massive 52.9 million viewers. The final episode of the series came in a close second at 52.5 million viewers.
The show has been a huge hit in reruns as well, via syndication, cable TV networks, and streaming services. After being available for several years on Netflix, Friends helped to launch the HBO Max streaming service in May 2020.
What is the Friends reunion on HBO Max?
In February 2020, Warner Media announced that HBO Max would become the new streaming home for Friends. Better yet, the service would also drop a long-awaited reunion special with the cast. It would be the first time all six cast members from the series would be filmed together since the end of the original series. The plan is to film the majority of the special at Stage 24 at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank, California, where the original series was filmed. It’s possible that the actual sets and props from the show will be involved. In addition to the main cast, the show’s creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane will be a part of the special.
A report from Deadline claims that each cast member will be paid between $3 million to $4 million for their participation in the reunion. Nice work Friends!
Is this special going to be an actual episode of Friends?
Sadly, no. Unlike other recent one-off reunions of popular TV shows like Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, the cast members won’t be reprising their Friends roles. The actors and show creators will just be in the same place, talking about their previous experiences on the show.
When is the Friends reunion going to be on HBO Max?
Originally, the plan was to film the reunion special in mid-March 2020. It was supposed to debut alongside the launch of HBO Max itself in May 2020. Unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak shut down all TV productions at that time.
In mid-April 2021, the cast members were confirmed to have finished filming the reunion special, via a post on the official Friends Twitter page. HBO Max will finally drop the Friends reunion special on Thursday, May 27.
Who will also appear on the special?
Besides the main cast, HBO Max has revealed that the reunion special will feature appearances from many other celebrities. They will include several Friends guest stars like Elliott Gould, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon, Larry Hankin, Thomas Lennon, and, yes, James Michael Tyler (who played Gunther, the long-suffering owner of Central Perk). Other celebrity fans of Friends will also appear on the show, including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Kit Harington, Mindy Kaling, and Malala Yousafzai.
That’s all we currently know about the Friends reunion on HBO Max. We will update this article when more concrete information becomes available.
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