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The One With the Reunion: Friends cast to return for TV special

Friends fans can rejoice – The One Where They All Get Back Together is officially on.

HBO has confirmed that the cast of Friends will reunite for a special on the streaming platform HBO Max, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Friday. The reunion will premiere in May, HBO says.

All six stars of the NBC sitcom, which aired for ten seasons between 1994-2004, will return for the special.

The actor Matthew Perry announced the news on Instagram with two words: “It’s happening.”

The reunion will be unscripted, and is set to feature the series’ creators, David Crane and Martha Kauffman, as well as the actors Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. It will be taped in Stage 24 of the infamous Warner Bros lot in Burbank, where Friends filmed its entire run.

Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max, told the Hollywood Reporter he was thrilled to have seen the show “catch on with viewers generation after generation. 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.”

There had been a flurry of media reports about a potential reunion since Aniston hinted last year that something might be under way.

Aniston spoke to the talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres about a possible new Friends project, saying: “We would love for there to be something, but we don’t know what that something is. So we’re just trying. We’re working on something.”

The idea of a Friends reunion has met with mixed reactions from critics and fans.

When rumors of the reunion first surfaced in November, the Guardian’s Stuart Heritage wrote: “Another shot, even for a truckload of cash, would only further diminish what Friends once was. In the still very recent words of Jennifer Aniston, a reunion won’t be even close to as good as what it was, so why do it?”

But for many on Twitter the news brought sheer glee.

ƒ ༄ // ia for a while (@peacefuIsel)

friends fans now that there's a reunion AFTER 16 YEARS #FriendsReunion
pic.twitter.com/HPq1aApIoA

Niamh Haddrick (@niamhhaddrick)

I am the happiest person in the world!!! #friendsreunion pic.twitter.com/xq1ku4Ahhz

Kirsty (@kkirstylouise)

Scrolling through Seeing “it’s
Instagram Happening”#FriendsReunion pic.twitter.com/aK94PImpXk

Ben Winston is slated to direct, and HBO will also make all 10 seasons of the Emmy-winning series available to subscribers in May.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal said the six stars would receive between $2.25m and $2.5m as part of the deal.

Reuters contributed reporting