The Friends reunion is coming, it’s official, and it will be two hours long.
The internet was abuzz with news Wednesday that all six major cast members — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — would be returning for a two-hour special. This will mark the first time they have all appeared together at the same time since the show went off the air in 2004.
Fans of the show could barely contain themselves at the news of the Friends reunion.
— Emily Longeretta (@emilylongeretta) January 13, 2016
THE FRIENDS REUNION WILL HAPPEN. THE WAIT IS OVER???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/tzirqf2hC0
— Soutrik (@SoutrikDebnath) January 13, 2016
But the Friends reunion may not be what some fans are expecting, People magazine noted. While many were anxious to see what’s been happening with Monica and Chandler or whether Ross and Rachel are still together or on a break, what they’ll actually see is the actors out-of-character in a two-hour special honoring the sitcom’s director, James Burrows.
Burrows is a longtime veteran of television, and recently shot his 1,000th episode overall. Aside from his work on Friends, Burrows also directed episodes of Taxi, The Bob Newhart Show, and Cheers. The special will pay homage to Burrows, and will include actors from some of the other shows he’s helmed.
There may be more bad news for Friends fans. Not only will it not be Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe getting back together, there’s also a chance that the actors won’t even be able to appear together.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said there’s a chance that all six actors won’t be able to make it for filming at the same time.
“I’m hoping all six will be in same room at same time,” he told reporters, but, “I’m not sure we can logistically pull it off.”
Fans have been teased with reports of a Friends reunion in the past. In July 2014, a prankster created a fake reunion poster claiming that the cast of the show was getting back together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the finale. The picture went viral, leading many fans to believe that it was real.
But Tom Charlie Thompson, the 21-year-old who created the poster, told the U.K.’s Metro that it was just a project he created for fun and he never intended to go viral.
“I’m very sorry for any confusion caused. I have to say that the poster wasn’t created with the intention to upset, anger, or fool anyone,” Tom told the Metro. “It wasn’t even supposed to be seen by many people. I was expecting a few ‘likes’ on Facebook by some of my friends who are also fans of the show.”
But still the poster managed to trick some news outlets. KDramaStars added another fictional element to the hoax, claiming that a feud between Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox was putting the fake reunion in jeopardy.
The report noted:
“Fans are afraid that they’re feud might affect the much anticipated Friends Reunion 2014 and they’re right as The Hollywood News Hound has reported that the two don’t want to see each other at the moment.”
The show’s creators had been adamant that a real Friends reunion would never happen. Co-creator Marta Kaufman told E! News that it was most definitely “not happening.”
“[Fans] have to let it go,” she said. “It’ll never happen—not happening!” Well now it appears she’s wrong, at least technically. While the characters won’t be featured again, fans will get to see the actors back together when the Friends reunion takes place in February.
[Image via NBC/TV Guide]