Now that Friends has left Netflix forever, the wait has been on for the series to surface in streaming form again with the May launch of HBO Max. Who pulls DVDs off the shelf anymore, really? That’s a chore, and pushing a few buttons is so much easier, not to mention that there’s still cable reruns floating around out there. However, it’s certainly notable that the 25th anniversary of the series has passed, and the show’s still fresh in many people’s minds. Cast members still get asked about a possible reunion all the time, so there’s plenty of perpetual hope to see it happen.
Well, according to Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, that reality is closer than it ever has been before. No contracts have been signed as of yet, but an “agreement in principle” has reportedly been reached with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer to film some sort of one-hour special timed for the HBO Max launch. Hopefully, Ugly Naked Guy will receive a shoutout if this materializes, or all of these millions might be a waste. Here are the financial details:
Following tough negotiations, I hear Friends stars … have reached an agreement in principle with series’ producer Warner Bros. TV to do what I hear would be an hourlong special. No one would comment, but I hear each of the six stars will be paid in the $3 million-$4 million range for appearing in the special.
Those aren’t exactly staggering dollars (around $20 million total) for talent in terms of hour-long specials, given that Netflix has been dropping anywhere from $20-$70 million on multiple high-profile specials from comedians. However, it’s worth noting that this Friends reunion, if it happens (it it sounds all but certain at this point) will be unscripted. There will be no Chandler, Rachel, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, and Ross, and so on, and it’s going to be a one-off thing, so expectations might want to be toned down slightly. Still, it’s probably enough for fans that this will happen at all, for nostalgia’s sake.