Are they just on a break? Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman spoke to Us Weekly on Sunday, January 17, about the NBC sitcom's cast and whether the series' continued popularity would sway her to reboot it.
NBC is honoring legendary TV director James Burrows in a special airing Sunday, February 21, and five of the six Friends stars are set to appear, alongside cast members of other sitcoms that Burrows worked on. Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), David Schwimmer (Ross) and Matt LeBlanc (Joey) will all take part, while Matthew Perry (Chandler) is unable to attend, as he will be working on a play in London.
Kauffman, who co-created the seminal sitcom with David Crane, spoke to Us about her own involvement in the special. She made her comments at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, California, following the panel for her Netflix series Grace and Frankie.
"I will be there, but it is not a Friends reunion," Kauffman said, emphasizing that the event's focus is on Burrows. He directed 15 Friends episodes, including the pilot, which aired in September 1994.
Kauffman also acknowledged that it's "shocking" to her that the show continues to be so popular, although she still doesn't find the idea of rebooting the series to be appealing, even with a new cast. There's currently a trend in TV to revive previously dormant series, with Netflix itself becoming a home for a new season of Arrested Development, an in-the-works Gilmore Girls reboot and the Full House update Fuller House.
"For me, why go back to that territory again?" she asked of the series that signed off in 2004 after 10 highly rated seasons. "I get to do [on Grace] 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 had just left [the] Friends time of my life. This is about the time of my life I'm looking toward."
Not one to mince words, Kauffman made a similar comment during the Grace panel on Sunday. "I will say there will never be a Friends reunion movie," she told the audience.
This is not the first time that the TV producer has quashed any hope of a return to Central Perk. In April 2015, she told The Wrap that a reboot was "never gonna happen."
The James Burrows special is set to air on NBC on Sunday, February 21.
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