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Friends Reunion Special: Everything You Need To Know

Grab a coffee and your regular spot at Central Perk, because Friends is returning to the small screen.

Once HBO's new streaming service HBO Max launches in May, subscribers will have plenty of choices when it comes to new content — but there's no doubt in anybody's mind that the newly announced Friends reunion special will be among the most popular options.

As covered by The Hollywood Reporter, the original cast and creators of the landmark NBC sitcom — including showrunners David Crane and Marta Kauffman, as well as stars Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, and Courteney Cox — are all set to find a new home at HBO Max for a reunion special, once the new service launches this spring. The entire back catalogue of Friends episodes will also belong exclusively to the streaming service, having recently left Netflix in advance of the big move.

Obviously, Friends fans are in a fervor over this news. Here's everything you need to know about the Friends reunion special.

HBO is betting big on Friends

It makes sense that HBO Max would be prepared to pay handsomely for the Friends reunion, but even so, the stars of the show are all set for some pretty serious compensation for this unscripted special. Back in the day, during the original run of Friends, the six mega-watt sitcom stars famously renegotiated their salary to earn $1 million per episode apiece. According to THR's intel, the reunion special ups those stakes considerably, with a payout of $2.5 million to $3 million per episode each for Perry, Schwimmer, LeBlanc, Aniston, Kudrow, and Cox.

In any case, HBO is excited to serve as Friends' new home for both old and new content. In a statement obtained by THR, Kevin Reilly, the Chief Content Officer of HBO Max (and presidents of channels like TBS and TNT) said, "Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will 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. 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."

All your Friends are coming back for the reunion special

Of course, Friends would be nothing without its defining stars, and the reunion special likely wouldn't have happened if any one of them had said no. Fortunately, they all signed on, and even shared the news in a simultaneous and identical Instagram post (even Matthew Perry, who only recently joined the social media platform). Fans should be thrilled to see more of Perry as the sarcastic Chandler Bing, Matt LeBlanc as the dim-witted Joey Tribbiani, David Schwimmer as the somewhat goofy paleontologist Ross Geller, Lisa Kudrow as the eccentric Phoebe Buffay, Jennifer Aniston as the fashion enthusiast Rachel Green, and Courteney Cox as the type-A chef Monica Geller (who never actually changed her married name to Geller-Bing after tying the knot with Chandler).

As for what they've been doing since they turned off the lights in Monica's apartment, the cast has certainly kept themselves busy enough. After a long list of feature films, Aniston recently returned to the small screen on AppleTV+'s hit flagship series The Morning Show, playing a soon-to-be ousted morning television anchor who fights back against a corrupt network. Cox has remained on television, fronting shows like Cougar Town. Kudrow staged her own comeback with a revival of HBO's The Comeback, and has appeared in comedies like Easy A and Booksmart in supporting roles. Schwimmer attracted serious acclaim for his portrayal of the late Robert Kardashian in The People vs. OJ Simpson, the first installment of Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story anthology series. Perry has stuck to sitcoms, including a revival of The Odd Couple and original series like Go On and Mr. Sunshine. Finally, LeBlanc, after the Friends spin-off Joey floundered, went onto prestige television and other projects, starring as a fictional version of himself on Showtime's Episodes (which won him a Golden Globe Award) as well as a hosting stint on Top Gear.

Everything else coming to HBO Max

The Friends union special is a big deal for HBO Max, but if you're not a Friends fan or just want to expand your options, there's plenty of other content coming to the platform — including new shows from creators like Elizabeth Banks (who's helming DC Superheroes High) and Ridley Scott (whose new series Raised by Wolves moved from TNT to HBO Max).

Other exciting new prospects include Dune: The Sisterhood from future Dune director Denis Villeneuve, a Green Lantern series, literary adaptations of hit novels like Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven (from the creator of Netflix's Maniac) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah (starring and produced by Lupita Nyong'o), an original romantic comedy anthology series from Anna Kendrick called Love Life, new comedy specials from stars like Ellen Degeneres and Conan O'Brien, and more.

HBO Max doesn't have a set launch date as of yet, but Friends fans can rest easy knowing that one of the service's tentpole offerings will be a long-awaited reunion of this beloved show.