News of the “Friends” cast “reuniting” for an upcoming NBC special sparked an internet frenzy this week with fans believing there would be a full-blown reunion. However, their nostalgic dreams were crushed when the “reunion” was clarified to simply be a short part in a broadcast tribute to director James Burrows — and without Matthew Perry, who was never scheduled to be at the special.
“Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman will also be present at NBC’s James Burrows special on Feb. 21, which celebrates the veteran comedy director who directed 15 episodes of the iconic ensembler, but she insists it really is not a reunion.
“It’s not a ‘Friends’ reunion. I will be there, but it is not a ‘Friends’ reunion,” Kauffman told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. where she was present to support her Netflix series “Grace and Frankie.”
As for the internet blow-out over the reunion rumors, Kauffman said she’s surprised her show still resonates so strongly with audiences.
“Yes, it’s shocking to me. It really is,” Kauffman said. “My youngest child is 16 and because of Netflix, her friends are just discovering the show and they think it’s a new show. They think it’s a new show that’s set in a period.”
The inevitable question — will there ever be a real “Friends” reboot, with or without the same cast members — was asked by Variety, to which Kauffman shook her head “no.”
“Why? I mean, for me, why go back to that territory?” she said. Speaking of “Grace and Frankie, she added, “I get to do what I loved about ‘Friends’ which is make a show that’s got some hope and joy to it, and explore something completely new. That was about a certain time in your life and I just had left the ‘Friends’ time of my life. This is the time in my life that I’m looking toward. It’s thrilling that we can do that.”
The last time the “Friends” cast actually reunited was in August 2014 for a skit on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”