- HBO Max announced on Friday that the “Friends” reunion special was officially happening at the upcoming streaming service.
- Each member of the “Friends” cast was nearing a deal for between $2.25 million and $2.5 million to return for the special, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. Variety reported on Friday that they will each make “at least $2.5 million” for the show.
- The show will be “a retrospective and interviews with the cast,” not a new episode, The Journal said.
- WarnerMedia bought the streaming rights to “Friends” last year for $425 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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The “Friends” reunion special is officially happening at WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming platform HBO Max, it announced on Friday.
HBO Max content chief Kevin Reilly said in a statement that the special would be “programmed alongside the entire ‘Friends’ library.”
“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,” Reilly said. “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.”
The cast is expected to get a huge payday for the reunion special.
The actors – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry – were close to sealing a deal in which each of them would make between $2.25 million and $2.5 million for the show, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. Variety reported on Friday that each actor would make “at least $2.5 million” for the special.
The actors were originally offered $1 million, which they turned down, according to The Journal. The actors were each making $1 million per episode for the final two seasons of “Friends,” a hefty sum for television salaries in the early 2000s.
The special will be “a retrospective and interviews with the cast,” not a new episode, The Journal said. A prospective host is Ellen DeGeneres, according to The Journal.
“Friends” is one of the top TV catalogs in the streaming wars.
WarnerMedia scooped up the streaming rights to the hit 1990s sitcom last year for $425 million ($85 million a year for five years), according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show left Netflix at the end of 2019.
HBO Max is set to launch in May for $14.99 per month, the same cost as HBO’s standalone streaming service HBO Now.