Friends Fans In The UK Have Had A Distressing Realisation About The Upcoming Reunion Episode

If HBO Max isn't coming to the UK, could that mean the Friends reunion isn't, either?

Friends fans have had a rather disappointing realisation about the upcoming one-off reunion special, more specifically those that live in the UK.

On Friday night, all six members of the main Friends cast confirmed simultaneously that they’d be appearing in a new one-off “celebration” looking back at the classic sitcom, 16 years after it was last on our screens.

The special is set to debut on the new streaming platform HBO Max in May, alongside all 10 series of Friends.

However, while British fans of the Emmy-winning series were initially thrilled to hear that the cast were reuniting for the first time since the show ended, others quickly pointed out that because HBO Max isn’t launching in the UK, there’s every chance we won’t actually be able to watch the show here.


The cast of Friends at the height of the show's success
The cast of Friends at the height of the show's success
NBC via Getty Images

Understandably, many fans were disappointed by this, many of whom have been voicing their upset on social media…

EKKKKKKKK @FriendsTV is back for a Reunion Episode but how are we going to watch - if @hbomax isn’t available in the UK? 🇬🇧 🏴 #FriendsReunion

— Aaron Pleming (@Aaronplem) February 22, 2020

Just heard that the friends reunion that everyone's been waiting for, might not get shown in the UK. How rude. UK loves entertainment as well.#friends #tvshow #JenniferAniston #lisakudrow #courtneycox #DavidSchwimmer #matthewperry #MattLeBlanc

— Jason Cowan (@Jasonleecowan) February 23, 2020

Devastated that those of us in the UK won't be able to watch HBO Max for @FriendsTV Reunion. How will I watch it please?!?!?!?!?!?!?

— Holly 🎉🤗🎊 (@DeckTheHolly8) February 22, 2020

With HBO Max not coming to the UK where will the Friends Special be shown in the UK? As Friends has been on many different channels in the UK

— Paul Ferrer (@paullferrer) February 22, 2020

Realising the friends reunion is on an American channel and I’m british

— Lu🌺 (@_friendscentral) February 22, 2020

However, some have also pointed out that Sky Atlantic regularly show HBO content in the UK – including Game Of Thrones, Girls and Westworld – suggesting it could end up being the UK home of the Friends reunion, even though they don’t show the series itself.

Unless Sky Atlantic show it, be years until it can be seen in UK. HBO Max arent coming to UK and friends won't be available in UK either.

— Richard Veale Bult 🇵🇸 🇨🇦 🇮🇷 (@southcoastbloke) February 22, 2020

Purely guessing, but a lot of HBO content goes on Sky Atlantic...

— Sarah O'Connell (@SarahO_Connell) February 22, 2020

Friends things:
- literally just a chat show/documentary, absolutely not an episode
- HBO Max isn’t launching here (they’ve extended the Sky/HBO deal, and make way too much money from it to go direct to consumer at the moment) so you may not see it

— Robin Edds (@robinedds) February 22, 2020

- HBO could license it out around the world to companies (like Netflix *kisses badge*) who hold the Friends rights, but are they not just then doing their marketing for them?
- Sky could show it as part of their HBO deal, but as they don’t have Friends that would be...odd

— Robin Edds (@robinedds) February 22, 2020

The One Where We Convince Mum To Get Sky Atlantic

— GSV(ecc) Social Pupae (@a_rdavey) February 21, 2020

HuffPost UK has contacted HBO Max for more information.

The unscripted special will see the show’s cast returning to the soundstage on which Friends was filmed, reflecting on the sitcom’s global impact and best moments.

It will be directed by Ben Winston, best known for his work alongside James Corden on The Late, Late Show.

Friends is currently airing on Comedy Central in the UK, as well as streaming on Netflix, following its debut on the streaming platform in 2018, gaining the classic sitcom a new generation of fans.

This led to many younger viewers watching Friends for the first time, many of whom quickly began pointing out more problematic aspects of the show, namely a distinct lack of diversity and homophobic jokes about the character Charles Bing.


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