It’s official – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer are set to return to the original “Friends” soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for an exclusive untitled unscripted special on HBO Max.
The six stars will reportedly receive at least $2.5 million apiece for participating in the special. The reunion has been hotly anticipated, with speculation swirling since last fall after WarnerMedia’s new SVOD platform snagged the streaming rights to the show from Netflix.
All ten seasons of the comedy left Netflix at the end of 2019 and so far “Friends” has not been available to stream in the U.S., outside of boxset purchases, until HBO Max launches in May. Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV, in a statement says:
“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. I became aware of ‘Friends’ when 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.”
The long-running series, which totalled 236 episodes, ended its run in 2004 and will be available upon the streaming service’s debut. Ben Winston will direct the special and executive produce alongside Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane.