It's Official: NBC Is Planning a Friends Reunion

The One with the Reunion is coming. All six Friends stars—Jennifer AnistonCourteney CoxLisa KudrowMatt LeBlancMatthew Perry, and David Schwimmer—will reunite next month at a tribute for legendary sitcom director James Burrows, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

While all six actors will participate in the special, scheduled to air February 21, Greenblatt couldn't yet guarantee that all of them will be in the same room for the first time since the series ended 12 years ago."I'm hoping that all six of them will be in the same room at the same time," he said. "But I'm not sure if we can logistically pull that off." 

Burrows directed the Friends pilot and famously took the cast to Las Vegas before the show premiered so they could bond. 

The tribute will be produced by Sean Hayes, whom Burrows directed in all 194 episodes of Will & Grace, and will feature stars of other shows Burrows has directed. He has also helmed Cheers (which he also co-created), The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Lavern & Shirley, Frasier, NewsRadio, The Big Bang Theory, and 2 Broke Girls. He recently directed his 1,000th episode of television on NBC's upcoming comedy Crowded.

Here are some other highlights from the panel:


The ongoing saga of Donald Trump

NBC severed ties with Trump in June 2015 following his disparaging remarks about Mexicans and was criticized when it invited him to host Saturday Night Live five months later, on top of featuring him as a morning show and late-night guest. Greenblatt was quick to make the distinction Wednesday that the network merely ended their business relationships, with the Apprentice franchise and pageants, and frankly didn't expect Trump's campaign to have any legs. 

"We wanted to be out of business with him," he said. "That was June, July, when most of us thought he would be, you know, waltzing into the background of the political arena. And lo and behold, he's the frontrunner. The poll numbers are sort of astounding and he's everywhere. … I think that reconciles quite easily. We're not in business with him, but love it or not, he's one of the most important political figures of our time. I don't think the public was confused [by his hosting of SNL] as much as the press and some special interest groups."

Greenblatt believes the move was worth it despite all the heat NBC took. "At the end of the day, he was on the show for 11 minutes. The Earth didn’t fall out of its axis. It was a highly rated show, and that’s always a good thing," he said. "If we were in the business of never having anyone guest on the network who had views that disagree with our views, we'd be out of business."


You can't stop the beat on NBC

NBC's next live musical, set for December, will be Hairspray. Deals are not done yet, but The Wiz producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan will return. This means The Music Man, for which NBC had secured rights in 2014 before producing The Wiz last year, is sitting on the backburner for now. "People have been saying to me since The Wiz, 'Do this show, do that show,'" Greenblatt said. "I've heard obscure titles and famous titles. Not everything’s going to be a big name to the whole audience. I don’t think there's an infinite number of these that can be done. But we're still doing it."



Will there ever be live drama?

NBC produced a live episode of ER 19 years ago, but there are no current plans to do so with any of its current slate. But that's not for lack of effort. NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said she had asked Dick Wolf if he would consider a live episode of one of the Chicago shows. "He said, 'Absolutely not,'" she deadpanned. 



Up next on late night

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will visit L.A. the week of February 15. The night before, NBC will air an anniversary special to mark Fallon's two years behind the desk. Meanwhile, NBC has re-upped Seth Meyers to stay at Late Night through 2021.


Will Ricky Gervais return? 

Gervais has said that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has already asked him to return to host the Golden Globe Awards again next year (and for the fifth time overall), but that's premature announcing on his part. "We haven't made any decisions about the return of Ricky," Paul Telegedy, NBC's president of Alternative and Late Night Programming, said, adding that he thought the Brit was good on Sunday. "When you book Ricky, you know what you're in for." "I think Ricky made a decision about returning, but we haven't yet," Greenblatt said.


Celebrity Apprentice will be back

The rebooted franchise, now with Arnold Schwarzenegger hosting, will film in the spring and could be on the air as early as fall.


This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Jan 14, 2016
meh
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Jan 14, 2016
so.... not a Friends reunion.

also what even is this article??
Random NBC News Dump is a better title
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Jan 14, 2016
What a strange article, and based on the URL it looks like there was a more apt title originally before it became an all-Friends headline.

Anyway, NBC needs to get them all together for reals or it's gonna look bad.

A 2 year anniversary special for Jimmy Fallon sounds pretty shallow, did you celebrate the half-anniversary as well?
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Jan 14, 2016
Why Oh Why bring it back don't tell me that the main characters are out of money. Why keep bringing back what use to work 10 or 12 years ago when tastes and opinions are more different (and not always for the better). Plus you have all those re-runs on different channels throughout the year you can't get away from it. The show ran it's course don't ruin it by kicking it all off again.
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Jan 14, 2016
I don't have an opinion about any of this.... thought i'd share.
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Jan 14, 2016
We already have the Big Bang Theory recycling all the friends jokes and settings, we do not need it anymore.
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Jan 14, 2016
Eventually,,If NBC offers something that all 6 want. They'll get back together for a movie or something...All though by that time...will anybody care?
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Jan 14, 2016
So are the Friends reprising their roles for this or will the actors and director sit down and catch up?
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Jan 14, 2016
It's a tribute special, not an episode of Friends. They are going to do a tribute to Burrows and all 6 are scheduled to attend in one way or another. It is hoped that all 6 can be physically at the tribute's venue, but from what I read elsewhere, Courtney is having problems clearing her schedule and may have to appear via satellite feed.
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Jan 14, 2016
Thanks. Tad disappointing.
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Jan 14, 2016
I was never able to sit through an entire episode of the series. The monkey had the most charisma, and they got rid of it. Even if all the actors get together for the special, it isn't worth my time or effort.
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Jan 14, 2016
Not an actual episode of Friends = not a reunion at all.

Pathetic try, NBC... as usual.
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Jan 14, 2016
NBC is an ugly network and people know it
and a F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion will not help them
i for one watching it for the sake of one show only Grimm which is by the way was a big waste of time so far in the current season
and no matter what is the temptation i ain't watching NBC after this because NBC as a network are not even worth it anymore..
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Jan 14, 2016
lol what does the "F.R.I.E.N.D.S." acronym stand for?
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Jan 14, 2016
Television R.I.P, - I had fun times and great memories watching you all there years. But it's time for me to face it and deal with the fact, you Television is dead now and you are never coming back, with the categories i fall in love with. And My Future is now with Movies, it will be re-set of life having new beginnings memories.
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Jan 14, 2016
Always thought Friends were overrated, meaning I never thought it was funny, nor cared for it... but you always knew this reunion thing would come.

I'd rather see a Seinfeld reunion
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Jan 14, 2016
Gross.
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Jan 13, 2016
The Friends actors/ actress have changed and some not for the best. Jennifer Aniston still as beautiful as ever, and in my opinion Matt Leblanc is the only one who has achieve something interesting outside the old TV show in Episodes (a very good comedy, different, satirical, though not for everyone).

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Jan 14, 2016
They all seem to be having very good careers when checking the IMDb pages.
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Jan 14, 2016
While the others have being in small (some good some stupid) movies and average ok TV shows, Matt LeBlanc has being nominated several times, and that has being well deserved, because he is amazing as "Matt LeBlanc" in Episodes.
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Jan 14, 2016
Episodes is AMAZING! :)
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Jan 14, 2016
That makes sense.
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Jan 13, 2016
Matthew Perry's Go On was severely underappreciated (almost as much as Episodes). It's a shame they didn't give it at least a second season to find its audience.
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Jan 14, 2016
I agree, I like GO ON but Episodes is in another league. Matt LeBlanc has being nominated several times, and that has being well deserved, because he is amazing as "Matt LeBlanc" in Episodes.
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Jan 13, 2016
Donald Trump is one of the most important political figures of our time. (shiver) eeuh.... scratch that. He's one of the great sleazebags of our time and that's putting it mildly.

So this is the most probable outcome.


O dear. I've got a bad feeling about this.

I find my lack of faith disturbing.

And Friends is (are?) overrated. I always wanted to type that.

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Jan 14, 2016
Don't count out Bernie! Feel the Bern!
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Jan 13, 2016
I wish they did a reunion in 2014. It would've been interesting, considering Friends started in '94 and ended in '04.
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Jan 13, 2016
I think they should do a TV movie with the actors reprising their roles to see what the characters are doing now but the actors will probably never agree to that. It was done a lot in the 80s though with The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, probably more that I'm forgetting.
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Jan 14, 2016
I wouldn't mind seeing some of those.
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Jan 14, 2016
I used to have fears that trend would never die, and we'd inevitably see a 35-year-old Urkel at some point.
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Jan 14, 2016
OMG now I wanna see a 35-year-old Urkel! LOL
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Jan 14, 2016
Sadly, Jaleel doesn't have the ability to do Urkel's trademark laugh anymore.
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Jan 13, 2016
They should wait until 2019. That way, it would be the 25th (silver) anniversary reunion.
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Jan 14, 2016
Or that could work.
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