The ‘Friends’ reunion show will happen on HBO Max, on the same old stage

Back in December, I covered some Jennifer Aniston-related stories when she just happened to make the covers of both People Magazine and Us Weekly on the same week. Us Weekly ran a nostalgia piece about Jennifer’s marriage to Brad Pitt and how they still talk and how they were, at that time, agreeing to bury the past (that was all part of his Oscar campaign). People Mag ran a cover story with an ancient photo of the Friends cast and “what their lives are like now.” I pointed out that Friends is still a thing, and all of the youths are completely obsessed with a show which was done and dusted more than 15 years ago. I understand gossip nostalgia, I really do. But obsessing over those old storylines and still putting Friends-related sh-t on the covers of magazines? I’m tired.

Anyway, all of that nostalgia had a point. It became increasingly clear throughout 2019, as Friends cast members kept joining Instagram and posting reunion photos. They were negotiating as a group, yet again. They wanted millions of dollars to do a reunion. And they got it.

The one where it’s all happening! A Friends reunion starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc is officially happening, HBO Max confirmed Friday.

“The one where they got back together,” HBO Max posted in an Instagram Story. “The Friends cast set to reunite for exclusive HBO Max special #FriendsReunion #HBOMax.”

The entire cast will return to the comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, California, for a celebration of the series. The unscripted cast reunion special, along with all 236 episodes of the series, will be available to subscribers at the launch of HBO Max in May 2020.

“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,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV, said in a statement.

“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,” he continued.

[From People]

Good lord. I’m sort of embarrassed for HBO and for all of the Friends actors, but hey, I kind of get it. They knew they could get buckets of money for any kind of reunion show and – again – they negotiated as a group and they hustled on Instagram and they got it. Hell, it will probably turn out to be profitable for HBO. I just can’t believe that the show I watched when I was a teenager is still, like, relevant in some way to teenagers today?

And before everyone yells at me for not having enough nostalgia to appreciate this, just know that I would personally kick in $50 for another season of Life (with Damien Lewis), or a Band of Brothers actor-reunion show (with Damien Lewis), or a better Arrested Development follow-up season where they all interacted, or a genuine spinoff of The Closer starring Kyra Sedgwick doing investigative stuff at her new job. *sobs into my DVD collection*

46th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute honoring George Clooney

Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram.

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73 Responses to “The ‘Friends’ reunion show will happen on HBO Max, on the same old stage”

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  1. JustMe says:

    My 21 year old niece posted today this makes her life complete lol
    It’s like kids today feel THEY discovered the show😏

    • minx says:

      My 20 year old daughter and her friends have watched the show for years! They love it.

    • enike says:

      well, a show about genuine friendship (supported by the genuine friendship the actors had/have) is never going to be outdated
      friendships forever :)

  2. Sierra says:

    What a crazy amount of money for just a sit down.

  3. Franklymydear... says:

    I have always loved Friends, when it was on live and when I would pull up episodes to watch on Netflix. Every Thanksgiving while I’m cooking, I watch all the Thanksgiving episodes. Sometimes at dinner my 2 kids will eat something they don’t like and will sputter, “It tastes like FEET!” and we all crack up. It’s a funny show. I miss it because I’m not getting HBO Max on top of 3 other streaming services (might as well pay for cable again at that rate!!), but I’m sure I’ll catch the reunion on You Tube. They were smart actors in the 90s, to stick together, and they are still at it. Good for them!

    • EM says:

      I do the same with the Thanksgiving episodes – the football one is my all-time favorite. I loved the show then, love it on TBS and was happy it was on Netflix. With that said, I’m not adding HBO Max for a sit-down. If it were another season then sure but not a sit-down interview.

    • Mellie says:

      Agree…maybe we’re all in the minority here, but it’s one of my favorites when I just want to forget what’s going on in the world and laugh. I love the fact that it appears they all still truly enjoy being around one another.

  4. FHMom says:

    FYI You can visit the original Friends set on the WB Lot. It’s expensive but worth it for big fans. I’m not sure how I feel about this reunion, but I have respect for their team work, media savvy and ability to get what they want. Very impressive.

  5. Ali says:

    I have never seen Seinfeld or Friends and I am really happy with my decision.

    • Scollins says:

      I watched just enough to learn they were not my cup of tea.

      • BeanieBean says:

        That was me with the Friends show–watched enough to know I didn’t care for it. Now Seinfeld, I watched then & I watch now–it still makes me laugh.

    • petee says:

      Couldn’t stand Freinds and liked Seinfeld better but it wasn’t in my top ten show’s.So trust me you didn’t miss much.

    • NYC_girl says:

      I was in my mid 20s when both shows were popular. I remember watching “Friends” briefly in my 300sf apartment. I didn’t like it. I also remember watching “Seinfeld” a few years ago as an older adult and realizing what a bunch of a**holes they were. Unfunny, mean – maybe with Kramer as an exception. I didn’t think it was as funny as it was in 97. I DO remember thinking Seinfeld’s finale was awful, as did many other people. I think it reflected how horrible they knew their characters were.

  6. Laalaa says:

    I watched Friends when they aired, watched endless reruns, bought the dvds, currently watching on netflix (they are still on where I live), and I don’t even consider myself a fan because this is just regular Friends behaviour in my generation.
    They are just different than others – I remember watching them during a big break-up and they felt like family, because they made me laugh without asking me how I felt.

  7. Snazzy says:

    I do love that they always stick together and negotiate as a group.

    Also, please take my 50 for another season of Life!! Loved that show!

    • Lucy says:

      Yeah, they all seem to have a lovely off-screen relationship. Seems to me like their terms for the reunion were “all of us or nobody”.

      • Julie says:

        Yeah, I appreciate that their professional relationship had always been one of mutual respect from all parties. They might not all be best friends in real life, but they work and negotiate as a unit. I remember that being a big deal at the time. They seem very aware that their appeal is as an ensemble; we never heard reports of peer pressure for a reunion a lá Sex and the City. As far as reunions go, I find this to be a healthy, understandable choice and a win-win for all parties involved. Excited!

  8. Jackie O'Glasses says:

    Man, I really miss The Closer. I watch it whenever it’s on. Major Crimes didn’t do it for me.
    I was never much of a fan of Friends but I’m happy the people who love it finally get their reunion. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

    • Kaiser says:

      Right? The Closer was AMAZING

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        It was! The Closer was one of the best shows ever and Kyra was just amazing. I’d be sooo up for any kind of spin-off. I didn’t like Mayor Crimes in the beginning but I warmed up to it quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it eventually. Not the same as god damn f***king Kyra though. Nothing is. <3

    • Prettykrazee says:

      I loved The Closer! Major Crimes was just ok. I rewatched The Closer so many times when it was on Amazon Prime. It’s own by WB too. So maybe it will be on HBOMax when it launches.

    • Scollins says:

      Disappoint? Fans would settle for face painted rocks tossed in a box.

    • lucy2 says:

      I loved the Closer too! Wish it was on streaming. I don’t even think there are reruns on right now. A while back I wanted to rewatch it, and had to DVR reruns on Lifetime or something.
      Major Crimes was good too, but the Closer was better. And oddly really funny sometimes.

      I love Friends during the original run, and have rewatched a few times. Not all of it aged well and there’s valid criticisms of it, but it’s still like comfort food to me, and still funny. I’ll definitely check this out, and I’m glad it’s just a chat or something, not more episodes.

      I think it’s a win-win – they knew the worth and negotiated together again, and HBO will surely do well with it.

    • manda says:

      Omg, I loved the closer. I think it was on prime at some point, I know I’ve been able to rewatch. I watched major crimes, but same, it didn’t really grab me. Detective Raydor was weird. But I liked Flynn and Provenza so much

    • Julie says:

      The closer is one of the BEST shows I’ve ever seen. Sometimes when the world seems full of horrid and loathsome human beings I just binge-watch a few episodes and feel better.

    • BoopBoopBeep says:

      I love The Closer too. And I love that Kyra Sedgwick gets to play a cop in Brooklyn 99. Actually, I just love Kyra Sedgwick.

  9. Nev says:

    Oh geez. Meh all around.

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah this just sounds really…boring.

    • wen says:

      Have to agree with Nev. If this is just a sit around whilst they discuss their favourite moments, love for each other as actors etc etc, then I’m out too. Sausages are a guilty pleasure, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know how they’re made. Same with TV shows and movies. Unless, of course, there’s some off-screen tension or an actor whose private life doesn’t match up with their public persona. But any delicious titbits, (if any, given how the main cast seem to be still very tight), will definitely not be on the menu for what is essentially a Friends Love Fest. Just like the reboots of Roseanne, Murphy Brown and Seachange (an Australian classic), sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for! And expect to be severely disappointed!!!!

  10. Dazed and confused says:

    My 8th grade student watch Friends, The Office, and Grey’s Anatomy all the time. I know Grey’s is still on, but it started the year they were born!

  11. Lucy says:

    I am one of those youths who started watching it now and I like it because it’s fun. As simple as that. I’ve never met anyone my age who thinks they “made some big discovery”, I can be critical of several aspects of the characters and the script, and yet I can still enjoy it. Maybe the reason we didn’t watch it before is because we were too young/not even born yet? Lol.

  12. Nina says:

    Give me another season of 30 Rock instead! Friends is so damn overrated.

  13. Scollins says:

    Jennifer needs to switch up her hair since it’s looking too much like Melanoma trump’s surgery gone bad hair curtain.

  14. Marjorie says:

    I was a big fan when it was on its first run in tge previous millenium. For the first time in 10 years, at least, I watched an episode the other day on a looong flight. It was from the first season and it was delightful! Lisa Kudrow was magic and the whole cast was full of chemistry. And as for Matt LeBlanc, I so would. Also it was cute-dirty, in a way that might not be ok today.

    Love the fact that they still stick together.

  15. Suz says:

    HBO Max seems… a bit off the beaten path.

    • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

      If you have current HBO service (through AT&T) you don’t pay extra for it. I just checked (as I have HBO with Directv, which is owned by AT&T now).

  16. Sara says:

    I’m a little behind on The Good Place’s final season and I just want to say it was a lovely surprise to see Lisa Kudrow in an episode.

  17. Other Renee says:

    So they’re just gonna sit on the soundstage and talk about the show? I think that’s kind of a big yawn. I don’t think that’s exactly what the fans were hoping for. They wanted to see the characters again, not just the actors.

    • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

      From what I understood, they will be talking AS THEIR CHARACTERS, getting together after all this time, with the clips intersperced as their “remberances” . I could be wrong though lol ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  18. S808 says:

    This is one of my fave shows but unless we’re getting unreleased footage, I don’t see the point. What are they gonna say that hasn’t already been said? Congrats to the 6 of them for those fat paychecks though.

  19. Mel says:

    I also thought it was just nostalgia but the rediscovery for the new generation is real. I’m a teacher in France and my 13 year-old pupils are fans, wearing t-shirts and whatnot. Thanks Netflix ! ( still on Netflix here)

  20. Lila says:

    Life was awesome! I’d absolutely pay for that one. Leverage is also on my list.

  21. Nancypants says:

    I won’t watch it.
    Sure, I watched Seinfeld and Friends back in the day but enough.

    The old man and I miss Northern Exposure before Joel left.
    We would pay to see another episode or 10.

    I know it was really filmed in WA state and some Alaskans hated it.
    Hey, we were Alaskans for several years.
    It was the characters and music and stories that made it.

    • Antonym says:

      Yes! I LOVE me some Northern Exposure! That show was so good (in my memory). I wish it was streaming. I would absolutely binge it immediately.

    • Anita says:

      You would check out Men In Trees. It’s a few years old now and only had 2 seasons but it is set in Alaska and has such a warm cosy vibe. One of my all time faves.

      • Nancypants says:

        Thanks! I will and N. Ex. is hard to find.
        We have all the sets on discs but the old man keeps complaining that he can’t get it on VUDU or HULU or something. Not sure why. You can still get the discs on Amazon.

  22. M.A.F. says:

    “Life (with Damien Lewis), or a Band of Brothers actor-reunion show (with Damien Lewis), or a better Arrested Development follow-up season where they all interacted, or a genuine spinoff of The Closer starring Kyra Sedgwick”

    None of those shows were part of the zeitgeist that was Must Watch TV in the 90s. I have students that love the Office thanks to streaming and they were babies when that show was on air.

    As for this reunion, eh. I’m not going to subscribe to HBO Max so I’ll just to see if clips pop up or write-ups about it.

  23. Jonsey says:

    I would pay cash money for someone, anyone, to put ‘Hannibal’ back on the airwaves.

  24. Nev says:

    For comebacks I would love the shows V, Lost, SATC and Santa Barbara.

    • Cinnamon says:

      100% co-sign for Santa Barbara. I used to try and stay home sick from school so I could watch it with my Mom. It was everything!!!

  25. McMom says:

    My 13 year old and her friends love Friends. She bought one of them a Friends sweatshirt for her birthday and they talk about the plot lines. My daughter will excitedly tell me a plot line from the show and she’s shocked that I already knew it. I keep reminding her that I watched all of it the first time it was on!

    • Lakota says:

      I have two boys aged nearly 15 and nearly 12 and they love it too – they’re on the last season now. I watched at the time and still find it funny (aside from all the porn talk)

  26. Snowslow says:

    I am still surprised that of all of them the one that I still enjoy watching because he chose good projects is Matt LeBlanc. Episodes is hilarious. And Lisa Kudrow (but that was expected).

    It’s really pornographic that they get paid so much for past jobs. The celeb world is out of control. That an actor is paid gazillions for a new job (or a sportsperson) ok. Still outrageous, but it’s the world we live in. That these people are capitalising EVEN MORE (they get on-going royalties) on a project that is over, for a silly episode when half of them haven’t had a single hit since then, is just beyond my comprehension.

    • lucy2 says:

      It’s a product that continues to generate a LOT of money though. So my feeling is anyone who helped create that product should reap the rewards of it being so successful.
      It’d be nice if it extended to the crews too though, not just those who get residuals.

  27. Sorella says:

    My nieces 22 and 24 LOVE it and all their friends watch it, not because they think they discovered it but because they think it is funny. I recently watched a few eps and was surprised t find it still very funny and each actor really was soooo good in their role. 20 somethings also are loving Greys, it’s strange, everything old is new again.

  28. KBeth says:

    I am nostalgic & will totally watch.

  29. Ann says:

    It’s going to be a letdown after all this hype. Sick of all this already.

  30. Fluffinstuff says:

    I watched Life too, it needed better scripts. I think it deserved them and suffered bc the writing just wasn’t great

  31. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Something happens to me when years go by (other than growing old, fat, wrinkly, hot, itchy and bitchy), I normally can’t watch anything beyond say eight to ten years from the present. I love historical shows, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. but…,well take the X-Files for example. Loved it in the 90s. But watching it now makes me cringe and antsy. Go back several more years, and I have to hear characters say they need to pull over and use a public phone. Involuntary tics take over.

    Obviously I don’t get all crazy because Ceasar can’t unearth his automatic and mow down the Senate or huffy because Pocahontas’s crew doesn’t mutilate those ‘civilized Christians’ the moment their asses found a shoreline. So maybe it depends on the year and the show. When I’m asked for more filters when looking for something to watch, it never goes beyond my ten year limit lol. Friends is too old for me to enjoy. I suppose I’m glad today’s youth finds it engaging? How? And why? I couldn’t stand it back then. Plus it’s like being forced to drink homogenized whole milk. It’s simply not good for anyone lol.

  32. Charfromdarock says:

    Is that promo pic from when friends was originally on or is it that heavily photoshopped?

  33. RedWeatherTiger says:

    All I’m saying is, FRASIER.

    • Nancypants says:

      I love Frasier too! I’ve probably seen every episode 10 times and K. Grammar talked about a re-do BUT they were going to take it out of Seattle. NO, I don’t think so. I think it should stay in Seattle.
      Also, the boys’ dad, John Mahoney, passed away.

      Last time we went to Seattle, we had a few hours to kill before our flight and I made my husband find every landmark we could from Frasier and Harry and the Hendersons.
      Cute movie with John Lithgow, the mom from Christmas Story, Melinda Dillon, and the aunt from Big Fat Greek Wedding, Lainie Kazan plus Don Ameche.

      Of course, we have dined at the space needle and taken the monorail and stuff but we found the house from Harry.
      Soooo crowded it was hard to grab a photo driving by and Seattle isn’t as great as it used to be unless you are homeless and a meth head, so, I suggest you do Seattle for a day then get on a ferry and head out to the islands but YES to a new Frasier if it’s done right but I think they’d base it in CA or Hawaii since that’s where K.G. lives.

  34. Ashley says:

    I never really got into Friends. It wasn’t on syndication back in the 90’s and that’s usually how I watched NBC shows. Seinfeld was and I watched Seinfeld like 6 times a day. Even Fraiser but didn’t appreciate Fraiser until later in life. The same for Will and Grace. Now when Will and Grace came back that took me back. Watching that at 30 was like being in high school again. So I get it. I loved that feeling. And as an adult, with the amount of stress we face, I guess it makes sense that you just want to go home sometimes. Certain tv shows just have that for you. Even watching Buffy (despite not watching it on original airing but later on FX) makes me feel like I’m back in college.

    But Friends never did it for me. I wanted to get the hype. But I watch it and I just don’t find it very funny.

  35. Abby says:

    I don’t really care if they make a reboot. I enjoyed Friends, a lot. I wasn’t obsessed–watched it more as reruns. But I don’t care about this. I would have loved more of Ugly Betty though.

  36. Gorgonia says:

    I used to like Friends very much. Nowadays I see the limits of this fiction (especially the lack of diversity and the too irrealistic situations), but I still like to watch it. It reminds me of a moment in my life when I was younger and full of hopes, which I’m not anymore. Friends was not rocket science, but it was a way to relax yourself at the end of the day, it’s just as simple as that.