The first episode of Friends, 'The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate' aired on September 22, 1994. Ten years later, on May 6, 2004, the last episode of Friends, 'The Last One: Part 2' aired, ending in a group huddle in the empty New York apartment — a set on Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California.
Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, the success of this sitcom is almost mythological in its production, its reception, and its nostalgia. The five main characters played by Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer were thrust into their respective careers.
The reunion special was delayed multiple times due to production shutdowns caused by COVID-19. Originally set to film in February 2020, it began filming in April 2021.
27 years after the premiere, 17 years after the last episode, responding to the snowballing inter-generational success, HBO Max announced the reunion.
The primary cast will be interviewed by James Corden. The trailer also shows them doing table reads and going back to the same set where they shot all those years. For those wondering, everyone's favourite character Janice (Maggie Wheeler) will make an appearance.
These interactions will all be unscripted. Apart from this there is also a bevy of stars and celebrities who will make an appearance. These include David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai.
The special has been directed by Ben Winston, an executive producer on James Corden's show. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer are all executive producing the special.
While globally it is streaming on HBO Max, in India Zee5 bagged the streaming rights. HBO Max which has not yet made footfall in India, has got the global streaming rights of Friends. While in India Friends still can be streamed on Netflix, globally, HBO Max now has access to the catalogue in a deal that is rumoured to have cost over $400 million.
Globally, it will be streaming on HBO Max on May 27. In India, it will be premiering simultaneously on May 27, from 12:32 PM onwards on their platform. You must have a Zee5 Premium account to access it.