The impossible is (kinda) happening. While fans have been clamoring for years for some type of Friends reunion, be it a movie or TV special, the cast of the iconic sitcom routinely shot down such notions as, frankly, bad ideas. However, NBC can now claim to have a Friends “reunion” as the cast is set to come together next month for a TV special honoring legendary sitcom director James Burrows, who was a principal director during the show’s first season and helmed 15 episodes of Friends in total.
Revealing the news at the NBC panel for the Television Critics Association, the network’s Robert Greenblatt did caution that it’s possible Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer won’t all be in the same room during the special, but they’ll all take part:
“[We’re] hoping that all six of them will be in the same room at the same time, but I’m not sure we can logistically pull that off.”
Indeed, there have been many mini-Friends reunions over the years, with Cox and Perry appearing together on the short-lived (and underrated) sitcom Go On, and multiple actors popping in for appearances on Kudrow’s Web Therapy. They all keep in touch more or less, but as is the case with six incredibly busy actors/co-workers, a full reunion has yet to take place. This TV special could certainly be it, which would be a huge ratings draw for NBC given that Friends was, you know, the biggest thing in network TV for quite some time.
As a big fan of the sitcom, the prospect of seeing everyone together again is certainly exciting, and I’m glad it’s not for an ill-conceived “reunion episode”—I don’t need to see what Monica and Chandler’s home life with a teenager is like, or find out what Joey’s up to. The show ended on the perfect note, so let’s keep it at that.
The special, directed by Sean Hayes and also featuring the cast of Will and Grace (Burrows helmed 188 episodes of that sitcom), will air on NBC on February 21st.
And for more Friends, check out my ranking of all 10 seasons from worst to best.