'Friends' cast to return for reunion special, but no word on SA broadcast

No announcement has been made by Showmax or Netflix about local airing of hit US show

28 February 2020 - 11:28 By khanyisile ngcobo and AFP Relaxnews
The cast of the hit US sitcom 'Friends' is reuniting for a 25th anniversary special that will stream on HBO Max.
The cast of the hit US sitcom 'Friends' is reuniting for a 25th anniversary special that will stream on HBO Max.
Image: © Courtesy of Warner Bros TV

While there's been much excitement and fanfare following the announcement of a Friends reunion special, South African fans of the long-running series may have to wait a while to view the special on local screens. 

It was confirmed that the cast of the hit US sitcom would be reuniting for a 25th anniversary special, with rumours swirling that it may be turned into a 12-part series.

The show's stars also posted the news on their Instagram accounts, and a Rolling Stone magazine cover featured the cast from the sitcom's early days with the caption "It's happening ... " much to the delight of fans.

Jennifer Aniston's post attracted nearly 4.8-million likes in three hours.

A celebration of the show, which ended its run in 2004, stars Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. It will return to the comedy's original sound stage on the Warner Bros Studio lot for an exclusive and unscripted special on streaming platform HBO Max.

The anniversary special will be available in the US when streaming platform HBO Max launches.

South African fans of the hit show may be in for a wait as no official announcement has been made by Netflix, which distributes the show outside of the US, or Showmax about the local broadcast of the show.

Showmax spokesperson Richard Boorman, told Sunday Times that while they had not yet secured local rights to the special, they're "working on getting it on Showmax".

He said while they are unable to provide details on the airing date, they hoped it would be "relatively close to when it first airs in the US".

Netflix could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.

Variety reported last week that each actor is expected to receive $2.5m for taking part in the special.

Though the last episode aired 15 years ago, the show's popularity hasn't waned, with market researchers saying it is among the most-watched shows on Netflix.

The sitcom was reclaimed last year by Warner Media's HBO Max, which will offer all 10 seasons of the show.

Friends, seen on US television from 1994 to 2004, won dozens of awards and garnered global celebrity status for Aniston and her co-stars.