EXCLUSIVE: Sky is in pole position to secure the UK rights to HBO Max’s highly-anticipated Friends reunion, sources have told Deadline.
A deal is not yet done and another broadcaster could yet make a knockout offer, but people familiar with the matter said that Comcast-owned Sky is the most likely destination for the special, which is titled Friends: The Reunion.
Sky has close ties with WarnerMedia as a result of a long-running output deal with the U.S. media giant, which was extended for five years back in 2019. The arrangement gives Sky exclusive rights to HBO originals, but not those commissioned by HBO Max, which is why it must strike a separate deal to carry the Friends reunion. Other HBO Max originals have been snapped up elsewhere, such as the BBC swooping for Anna Kendrick’s Love Life.
The reunion is likely to be popular in the UK, where Friends enjoys iconic status. The New York-set comedy is still a daily fixture on ViacomCBS’s British channels Comedy Central and Channel 5, while Netflix streams the entire back catalog.
Friends: The Reunion was filmed last month by Fulwell 73 Productions and will premiere on HBO Max on May 27. It brings together Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer at the show’s original Burbank studio for an unscripted special.
Celebrity guests will include James Corden, Reese Witherspoon, Lady Gaga, and Kit Harington. Fulwell 73’s Ben Winston directed the special and executive produced alongside Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane.
WarnerMedia declined to comment and declined to disclose who is distributing Friends: The Reunion. Sky did not respond to a request for comment.
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