In the United Kingdom, the long-awaited Friends reunion show has broken audience records. After 10 seasons, NBC’s sitcom about six New York City friends came to an end in 2004. Despite the fact that Friends ended 17 years ago, the sensation has only increased over time, thanks in part to its showing on streaming platforms such as Netflix, and applauds for a reunion of all six members have only grown.
In 2019, HBO Max spent over $400 million to bring Friends on their streaming service, hoping to reunite the six original cast members. Friends: The Reunion, which had been delayed for nearly a year by COVID, eventually broadcast last month.
The Friends reunion, which was hosted by James Corden and featured nostalgic moments like the actors reading over classic sequences and cameos from celebrity guests like Lady Gaga, saw all six cast members reconnect on the original set. It also generated significant numbers for HBO Max, as the Friends reunion was watched by 29 percent of U.S. streaming households on its debut day on HBO Max, only 3% less than Wonder Woman 1984.
The reunion also looks at how Friends captivated audiences around the world, including in the United Kingdom, where the series finale drew 8.6 million viewers to Channel 4. Unsurprisingly, the UK audience returned 17 years later for their favourite sitcom.
Friends: The Reunion premiered on demand at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 27 in the United Kingdom, and aired at 8 p.m. on Sky’s entertainment channel, Sky One. According to Sky News, the Friends special broke records by becoming “the most-watched show on Sky One ever,” according to the network. It also became Sky’s biggest series “in the last two years,” with “5.3 million people” watching live, recorded, and downloaded airings, surpassing Game of Thrones.
Although Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Ross, Phoebe, and Joey’s historic reunion drew some criticism for its lack of diversity, it appears that the majority of fans appreciated the nostalgic trip to Central Perk and other iconic Friends locations and moments. Cast members such as David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston have continued to share behind-the-scenes images. It’s obvious that the want to see the Friends gang hasn’t faded.