It wasn't quite the news that fans of the hit US TV series Friends were waiting for, but reports that the cast were to reunite for a TV special were enough to send Twitter into a Friends frenzy. According to reports, 12 years after the show's finale, the Friends cast will finally reunite on NBC this February.
Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow are all set to regroup for a two-hour special to honour one of the show's directors, James Burrows. According to Buzzfeed Bob Greenblatt, NBC's chairman of entertainment, said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena on Wednesday: "I'm hoping all six of them will be all in the same room at the same time, but I'm not sure if we can logistically pull that off."
It has been reported that the two hour show is not a Friends special, but will feature different sketches and cameos from the various shows Burrows has worked on and will also include appearances from stars from Cheers, Frasier and Will & Grace.
While the cast of the hit 90s series have largely gone their separate ways since the series ended, they have reunited in a number of projects. David Schwimmer appeared in Episodes with Matt Le Blanc, but the actor who famously played the loveable ladies man Joey, was unable to persuade his other friends to make guest appearances on the show, with the exception of Central Perk's barista Gunther.
David Schwimmer also guest starred on Lisa Kudrow's series Web Therapy back in 2012, and Matthew Perry guest starred on Courtney Cox's TBS sitcom Cougar Town in January 2014. Cox returned the gesture, appearing on Perry's short-lived series Go On in 2013. Prior to that, Perry paired up with Kudrow in 2013 for an interview on Piers Morgan Live, in which they discussed the experience of being part of the Friends phenomenon.
However, with each of them pursuing new projects, as Matt Le Blanc told Entertainment, the cast "don't get to see each other" as much as they used to. Their occasional professional associations aside they have reportedly remained well, friends, off camera too. Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox, who played BFF's Rachel and Monica continued their friendship long after the series ended. Aniston is godmother to Cox's daughter, Coco Arquette and the pair, who have been frequently spotted holidaying together are regarded as close confidantes.
Most recently Cox and Perry were spotted having lunch together, fueling speculation amongst excited fans that the pair, who were on screen husband and wife, might have picked up where Monica and Chandler left off.
The last time there was a mini-Friends reunion was for a segment filmed for US talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live in which Jennifer Aniston decided to play along with her host's request to play out some Friends fan-fiction he wrote, with Kimmel playing the part of Ross opposite her Rachel. Courtney Cox (Monica) and Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) surprised the audience as they also appeared to take part in the scene in a mockup of the Friends set.
While fans of the series have been lobbying for a reunion episode or a Friends movie in which we discover what happened to Rachel, Ross, Monica and Chandler and Phoebe and Joey as they moved out of the apartments they shared and embarked on life in an altogether grown up world, the cast have said they would never revisit the show and have rarely been seen altogether since the series ended.
It was recently rumoured that the cast were planning to get together for an episode marking the show's 20th anniversary, however, Cox, who played the fastidious Monica, added that even if the cast agreed to return to the programme, there was not much scope for a reunion story. "We did the whole show on a soundstage in Monica's apartment. So what are you gonna do?"
While it has not been confirmed whether all the Friends cast will be able to appear on the special, the mere news that they might regroup was enough to send Twitter into overdrive as Friends fans around the world celebrated the news ... with their friends.
The hashtag #FriendsReunion was trending as fans shared their excitement. "ME AND @emilyIeave ARE FREAKING OUT BC #FriendsReunion" said one fan of the show.
"#FriendsReunion is trending around the world i'm shaking and sobbing and everything i can't believe this is happening."
"I want a #FriendsReunion but I also don't because I don't want the pain of leaving them all over again," said another.
While its not quite the reunion the fans had hoped for, it might just be enough for now, to see our favourite Friends back together again. The NBC special is scheduled for February 21.