The ensemble of Friends might be there for you once again. On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that talks are currently underway for an unscripted reunion special, which would theoretically premiere on the upcoming HBO Max streaming service. The unscripted special would theoretically reunite the show's principal cast, Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross), as well as series creators David Crane and Mara Kauffman. This special would come as the iconic sitcom series nears the twenty-fifth anniversary of its premiere date, and begins to stream exclusively on HBO Max in 2020.
Reportedly, WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was the "driving force" in beginning talks about a potential reunion. The report does clarify that "a deal is far from done", as agreements between the parties are currently being ironed out. If everyone did agree to return for the special, coordinating schedules would be the next priority, and there's always a chance that the idea could "fall apart" somewhere along the way.
For diehard fans of Friends, the notion that a reunion special is even a genuine possibility will probably be a surprise. Since the series finale aired in 2004, the cast has largely been adamant about not doing a scripted revival. That being said, the cast has reunited on television specials before, largely in 2016 as part of a special honoring director and producer James Burrows. That special featured the cast (outside of Perry), as well as cast members of Will and Grace, Cheers, and The Big Bang Theory.
"We would love for there to be something, but we don't know what that something is," Aniston explained in a recent interview. "So we're just trying. We're working on something."
The reunion special would definitely be a major draw for Friends fans, especially after the series found a sort of second life on Netflix. The nature of its longevity on Netflix - namely, the significant paycheck the service paid to keep the series through 2020 - was pretty heavily publicized earlier this year. The series is expected to have a new streaming home on HBO Max, when the streaming service officially launches in May of 2020.
"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,'" said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer. "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."
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