Holy moly, the Friends cast is all about to reunite to shoot the same project. This week, NBC announced that it is putting a special together as a tribute to comedy director James Burrows, who just had his 75th birthday. The man has been in the business for a long time and shot 15 episodes of Friends during its tenure on the air. At the TCA press tour, NBC head Bob Greenblatt announced that all six original Friends cast members will return for the special. He’s also hoping he can get all six of them in the room together to bring a little extra magic to the table.
Obviously, if everyone doesn’t end up being able to film at the same time, it will probably lack a little of the Friends magic that NBC is obviously hoping for by announcing the cast along with the special at TCA. If they can’t work the schedules out, the Friends stints will probably be weirdly filmed like Arrested Development Season 4 was. Still, I’m firmly in the camp that any Friends-oriented news is good news, and I can’t wait to see how the special pans out.
Before this announcement, no network has been able to bring all six original members together and many people have been clear that any new Friends episodes are unlikely to ever happen. Creator Marta Kauffman has gone on the record to say she does not want to see Friends get rebooted for a new age. On top of this sentiment, there is the aforementioned fact that Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer are all very busy people and are frequently involved with film and TV projects with a variety of networks and studios. So, the closest thing we’ll probably get to a real reunion is this Burrows special, timed to his 1000th stint as a TV director, according to EW. (That, or this Kimmel bit.)
If you’re wondering why NBC would put together a special just about a dude who directed a few episodes of Friends, we’d like to make it clear that James Burrows is far more important than that. He also helmed numerous episodes of Taxi, Cheers, Frasier, Laverne & Shirley, News Radio, The Bob Newhart Show, Mary Tyler Moore and Will & Grace. More recently, he directed episodes of Mike & Molly and The Millers. He also helmed a ton of pilots, including kicking off The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls and 3rd Rock From The Sun. He’s done it all, really, and if NBC can use the man’s prominent and prolific career to bring a bunch of a-listers to the network for the night, why not?
The special is set to tape later this month, and will air on NBC on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. ET. While you wait, go ahead and toss your copy of Little Women in the freezer or at least do yourself a favor and check out when your winter favorites will be returning with our midseason TV schedule.
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Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.