When NBC announced Wednesday that all six members of Friends are going to have a reunion on February 21, fans of the show couldn’t contain their excitement. That excitement dipped significantly, however, when Matthew Perry announced through a representative that he won’t be appearing in person when the event finally takes place.
Since Friends aired its final episode in 2004, there have been numerous calls for all six members (Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry and Schwimmer) to stage a full-cast reunion. Unfortunately, at least one member didn’t appear in those few times they were able to meet up. The most recent mini-reunion took place in 2014 when Cox, Aniston, and Kudrow appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This year, Matthew Perry might be the only one who won’t be there in person when the rest of the cast members reunite again.
“Regarding Matthew Perry and the James Burrows tribute, Matthew will not be attending as he is in London in rehearsals for his play, The End of Longing, which begins previews on Feb. 2 at the playhouse Theatre. NBC executives were aware of this prior to their TCA announcement yesterday,” Matthew Perry’s representative, Lisa Kasteler, emailed to reporters. “Matthew may tape something for the tribute. In other words, this is not the reunion people have been hoping for.”
NBC head Bob Greenblatt announced the reunion at a Television Critics Association panel on Wednesday. “I shouldn’t go into detail,” he said. “I’m hoping that all six of them will be there in the same room at the same time. I don’t know if logistically we can pull that off.”
The special has been organized to pay tribute to director James Burrows, and will be aired on NBC on February 21. Friends is only one of several shows that will stage a cast reunion during the event. NBC reality chief Paul Telegdy confirmed that each of the six cast members of Friends— Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer — will be participating in the special in some form. As to what will be expected of them once the event finally takes place, no details have been released yet.
James Burrows is a television director who has been working in television since the 70’s. He recently directed his 1,000th episode for NBC comedy, Crowded. Aside from Friends, other notable television shows he directed include Frasier, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, The Bob Newhart Show, Night Court, Two and a Half Men, Will & Grace and more. Out of all the TV shows he directed, Friends was the first one announced to participate in the reunion special.
NBC’s Friends, which ran for 10 seasons (1994 – 2004), is one of the most beloved shows in the history of television. Countless fans of the show flocked to social media shortly after the news of the announcement circulated on the Internet. Even Matt LeBlanc himself took to Twitter to express his excitement over the event. Matt tweeted: “Should be a good time!” When one of Friends’ cast members, Lisa Kudrow, retweeted Matt’s tweet, you know it’s totally happening.
Here are some fan tweets expressing excitement over the upcoming Friends reunion. The ones using stills and clips from the show itself are especially delightful.
How about you? Were you disappointed upon learning the news that Matthew Perry won’t appear in person in the much-anticipated Friends reunion?
[Image via NBC/TV Guide]