A potential Friends reunion is one of the top projects for Bob Greenblatt, the new HBO Max chief who previously oversaw NBC Entertainment. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Greenblatt said they are "talking" about a Friends revival, but the plan would be to start with a single reunion special. The original series will be streaming on HBO Max once the streaming licensing deal with Netflix expires.
"I got [the cast] to do the James Burrows tribute special when I was at NBC," Greenblatt told THR, referring to a special NBC aired as a tribute for the longtime television director. The 2016 special featured Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc reuniting to recognize Burrows. Matthew Perry was the only Friends star to miss the special.
"And all I will say is, 'We're talking about it,'" Greenblatt continued. "We've been drilling down on what it could be and trying to see if everybody's really on board and interested. And if so, can we make the right deals for everybody. We're starting it as a special. It's possible there could be something ongoing, but it would be in steps. We're far from that."
Although no Friends reunion or revival series has ever been confirmed, excitement for the possibility of one happening has never been more intense. The cast has helped fanned those flames themselves, especially after Aniston shared a photo of everyone together to launch her Instagrarm profile. Even Perry, who has stayed out of the public spotlight in recent years, appeared in Aniston's photo.
In November, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that a Friends reunion special was in the works for HBO Max. The sources said the deal was "far from done" and warned that "talks could fizzle" if no one can work out the cast's busy schedules.
Back in July, WarnerMedia confirmed it will have Friends streaming exclusively on HBO Max when the platform launches in spring 2020. All 236 episodes of Friends will leave Netflix on Wednesday, Jan. 1. It is rumored that WarnerMedia paid $425 million to stream Friends on its own platform exclusively for five years.
HBO Max will also include movies and television shows from the Warner Bros. library. HBO shows will also be available, as will content from CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, TCM, The CW, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
"HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform," Greenblatt said in a statement in July. "HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is Friends."
Friends ran on NBC from 1994 to 2004, and was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. The series won the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy in 2002.