Although the entire “Friends” cast won’t be reuniting, plenty of sitcom stars old and new will be together for NBC’s tribute to comedy veteran James Burrows on the Feb. 21 special, “Must See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows.”
The TV special marks a huge milestone for Burrows: he has directed 1,000 episodes of television with NBC’s new comedy “Crowded.”
The cast of “Crowded” will be at the special, in addition to cast members from “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “Will & Grace,” “Taxi,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Wings,” “Mike & Molly,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Friends” — though Matthew Perry will appear in a pre-taped segment, as originally planned.
Burrows made his TV sitcom directorial debut in 1974 on an episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and is best known for his work on “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “Will & Grace” for which he directed all four pilots. He also directed the pilots of “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Mike & Molly.”
“There is nobody with better TV comedy instincts than Jimmy Burrows, and because of his guiding hand, these remarkable shows will be forever celebrated and stand the test of time,” said Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programming, NBC Entertainment. “The caliber of talent joining us to celebrate Jimmy’s accomplishments is a testament to his imprint in television history.”
Here’s the full list of expected attendees who will be at the James Burrows TV special:
“Friends” — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer (Matthew Perry in pre-taped segment)
“Cheers” — Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Bebe Neuwirth, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt (Kirstie Alley, Woody Harrelson in pre-taped segments)
“Frasier” — Peri Gilpin, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce (Kelsey Grammer in pre-taped segment)
“Will & Grace” — Sean Hayes, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally
“Taxi” — Tony Danza, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Judd Hirsch, Carol Kane, Christopher Lloyd
“The Big Bang Theory” — Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Jim Parsons
“Wings” — Tony Shalhoub, Steven Weber
“Mike & Molly” — Billy Gardell, Melissa McCarthy, Katy Mixon, Nyambi Nyambi, Reno Wilson
“Two and a Half Men” — Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen
“Crowded” — Carlease Burke, Stacy Keach, Carrie Preston, Mia Serafino, Patrick Warburton
JB Smoove, Jason Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Kate Flannery and Will Arnett will also be in attendance, and Bob Newhart will participate in a pre-taped segment.
“Must See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows” hails from Universal Television, Hazy Mills and Irwin Entertainment with Hayes, Todd Milliner and John Irwin serving as exec producers.