It’s happening: ‘Friends’ cast to reunite for special

The unscripted special will be available on HBO Max when the service debuts in May

The cast of 'Friends' back in the day. Courtesy Warner Bros. Television
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The stars of Friends are reuniting for a special show on HBO Max, WarnerMedia announced on Friday, ending speculation over the long-rumoured return of the hit US sitcom.

All the original cast will star in a reunion special being produced for WarnerMedia’s new streaming service HBO Max, which is due to launch in May this year.

A reunion has been highly anticipated by fans of the NBC series, which ended its 236-episode run in 2004.

The show made Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer into household names and won six Emmy Awards.

The stars posted identical Instagram posts of an old publicity photo of all them with the caption, “It’s happening”.

"Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library," said Kevin Reilly, HBO Max's chief content officer.

The special is being called a “celebration of the beloved show” and will be shot on the same Burbank, California, soundstage where the original episodes were filmed.

HBO Max will also carry every episode of the sitcom, which has proved enduringly popular, including with young audiences who discovered the show when it was available on streaming service Netflix.

The show’s stars and its co-creator, Marta Kauffman, have long fielded questions about a possible reunion. Rumblings of an unscripted reunion special picked up after the WarnerMedia announced it would launch its HBO Max service into the crowded streaming landscape.