The beloved and perpetually popular sitcom Friends celebrates the 25th anniversary of its debut on September 22, and if that doesn’t make you feel old, nothing will. Hard to believe we now refer to it as a “classic,” ain't it? Yes, 25 years have passed since the fresh-faced Monica (Courteney Cox), Ross (David Schwimmer), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) promised “They’d be there for us,” so to speak, and by golly they have been. While no new installments of Friends have graced our screens since May 6, 2004 (when it ended its 10-year run) the Warner Bros.-produced series moved into syndication and, with the addition of streaming services like Netflix as another way to watch, has gone on to become one of the most-watched sitcoms on television worldwide. In fact, when news broke last December that the show would be leaving Netflix, the response was a collective, “Nooooo!” Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were overloaded by devotees threatening to immediately cancel their Netflix subscriptions at the time of its departure. It worked for a while, but with the recent announcement of Warner Bros.’ exclusive deal with upcoming streaming service HBO Max (launching in the spring of 2020), and reportedly paying $425 million for the rights ($85 million a year for five years), our Friends will be on the move. (Side note: September 22, the date of the show's official 25th anniversary, is also Emmy night. We can only wonder how the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will mark the occasion.)
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