With some light starting to shine at the end of the tunnel that is HBO Max's attempt at a reunion of the cast and creative team behind classic sitcom Friends, Warner Bros. Television and ViacomCBS had some good news who were worried that their Nick at Nite "fix" of Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe was going the way of HBO Max. On Thursday, the two multimedia companies announced a new streaming deal that will keep the sitcom as part of Nickelodeon's late-night lineup under a multi-year deal that also includes other series across ViacomCBS' library of content (with Young Sheldon joining the Nick at Nite line-up starting November 30). Beginning November 23, at 9 p.m. ET, Nick at Nite will air the "Super-Stuffed 'Friends'-Giving" featuring a lineup of classic Friends episodes- with a marathon of Thanksgiving-themed episodes on Thursday, November 26.
Earlier this month, cast member Matthew Perry revealed that fellow Friends cast members Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer, as well as series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, were looking at March 2021 to film HBO Max's reunion special. Though an official confirmation from HBO Max hasn't been released, Perry himself took to Twitter to say, "'Friends' reunion being rescheduled for the beginning of March. Looks like we have a busy year coming up. And that's the way I like it!".
Speaking with Variety at the NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit back in May, former WarnerMedia Chairman Bob Greenblatt hoped filming on the special could take place by the end of the summer. "At first we thought, shows will be delayed for a month or two at the most, and now it seems like it's going to be far longer than that," he explained. "We're holding out for being able to get this special done hopefully by the end of the summer if the stars align and hopefully we can get back into production. We do think there's a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together and we didn't want to just suddenly do it on a web call with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms."
While he kept open the idea that the reunion "may go more to a virtual route if it is delayed too long," Greenblatt preferred to wait as long as possible for the kind of reunion event both the fans and cast want: "At the moment, we're trying to look to the future and get this thing done in a more conventional way, and I think it's worth waiting for. We would have loved to have had it on [HBO Max on] Day One, but at the same time, if we can get it launched in the fall, I think it'll be something that we can have the audience really looking forward to as well." Ben Winston is set to direct, and executive produces alongside Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, Schwimmer, Crane, Kauffman, and Kevin Bright. Emma Conway and James Longman will co-exec produce. Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative TV serves as the studio, with Fulwell 73 Productions also attached to the project.