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Could There be a 25th Reunion for 'Friends'?

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By J. Atkin

It seems we can't have any discussion about television these days without having to address all the new streaming services hitting the market this year and this news is no exception. While the 25th anniversary of the mega-hit NBC sitcom "Friends" has been acknowledged across the country, including the development of a "Friends" themed lego set, we have yet to see our real friends, the wonderful cast of the show, together anywhere except on Instagram. That could all be about to change thanks to HBO, in particular, their planned 2020 streaming service, HBO Max.

An unscripted reunion special now has an official rumor floating around Hollywood. The special would look to reunite the ensemble cast Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courtney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matthew Perry (Chandler), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), and David Schwimmer (Ross) along with series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman. HBO Max is currently set for a May 2020 release, so the assumption is the special would also premiere around that time. It's a big project, with big stakes, and apparently details are very much still being discussed behind the scenes. No official agreements with the cast yet exist, but things are still moving much faster, putting fans much closer to a reunion reality, than they ever have been before.

This would be a huge get for HBO Max if it wants to draw a little attention away from the already launched Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus. It was already announced earlier this year that the entirety of the "Friends" catalog of episodes would be leaving Netflix for the HBO streaming services when it goes live in 2020. Many fans have already registered their disappointment with the switch, especially newer fans who only came into contact with the series thanks to its presence on Netflix, to begin with.

There is still quite a bit of time before HBO Max debuts, and quite a few details to iron out before any official announcements about a reunion can be made. Even if the entire cast does agree to participate schedules still need to be aligned and organized. While fans have clamored for a reboot, almost since the original series went off the air, neither the cast nor HBO is promising anything like that. It doesn't look like "Friends" will follow in the footsteps of another NBC darling, "Will and Grace," and start airing any new canon content. But a reunion special would still be something. We will all just have to wait and see.

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