UPDATED: NBC is bringing back Friends, proving nothing is ever dead in Hollywood
Update: Although the Friends reunion is moving forward, not all of the cast is on board. Representatives for Matthew Perry have confirmed that the star won’t be available for the reunion. Perry is currently committed to a play in London during the reunion’s proposed filming window. According to Perry’s reps, the network was well aware of his commitments, but elected to proceed anyway. Perry is hoping to record something remotely for the show.
Original Post January 14: After years of hinting and teasing it, NBC confirmed that it is officially bringing back Friends. It will be a huge treat for fans of the show, and yet more proof that nothing in Hollywood can ever stay dead.
There has been a lot of talk of a Friends reunion over the years, some of it based on reality, most of it based on wishful thinking. As for why now, NBC seems to have gotten it together partly in order to honor famed TV veteran, James Burrows. The huge amount of money the network will certainly earn is probably a factor as well.
There is, of course, a catch.
The reunion will air on February 21 at 9pm, and it will run two hours. All six cast members are in talks to return, but given their schedules, they may not be able to all appear on screen together.
“I’m hoping all six will be in same room at same time,” NBC president Bob Greenblatt said. “I’m not sure we can logistically can pull it off.”
Thanks to clever editing, the show may be able to make it look like the cast is all together, but it will still be a little weird. Fair or not, it’ll probably also lead to stories that the cast members secretly hate each other.
While it’s kind of cool that Friends is coming back, the series ran for 10 years and 236 episodes. It didn’t leave much on the table when it went off the air, and it further confirms that nothing in Hollywood is ever really dead. Except maybe Firefly.
Yeah, despite Serenity, I’m still bitter about that one.
If the reunion is a commercial hit – and there is every reason to think it will be – it could be yet another open door in Hollywood that may lead to more old network shows returning either as specials, mini-series (just like the X-Files revival), or even new seasons.
There are already several shows coming back via streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, as well as cable networks. The major networks haven’t really done that yet (not counting reboots of old shows). That may change though, as there is obviously a market for it.