Can you believe it? Classic 90s sitcom, Friends, is celebrating its 25th year anniversary, and according to the The Hollywood Reporter, discussions are underway among the cast (six core stars) and Warner Bros. TV creative team to bring Friends crew together for an unscripted reunion special on the new WarnerMedia streaming service, HBO Max.
Principle stars include Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. Series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman are expected to be involved. Word of caution … this is deal far from final as there are many details to sort through.
Despite past denials from the cast and creative team regarding their decade long collaboration, WarnerMedia is highly incentivized and crazy not to leverage its highly valuable IP for its streaming service launch into this very crowded landscape. The most of the cast came together in 2016 to join NBC’s special honoring of legendary director and producer James Burrows. Five of the six stars — save for Perry — participated in the look back that also featured the casts of Will & Grace, Cheers and The Big Bang Theory.
Recently, Aniston told daytime comedian talker, Ellen DeGeneres, “We would love for there to be something, but we don’t know what that something is. So we’re just trying. We’re working on something.”
Why is Friends still popular? The 10-season long series has remained popular in various television syndication deals, but has managed to generate new fans on Netflix. So, it’s no surprise WarnerMedia snagged the series back for its HBO Max offering. The series leaves Netflix at the end of the year and will debut on WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. Fans will have to sign up for a $15 monthly subscription fee to hang out with Friends again.
Sources say WarnerMedia paid $85 million per year for five years ($425 million) to reclaim streaming rights to Friends for its own platform. (Netflix, for its part, paid somewhere between $80 million to $100 million.
Check out some bloopers from the Series