Friends Reunion Nearly Matches Wonder Woman 1984 Views On HBO Max

Almost as many people tuned into Friends: The Reunion as those who viewed the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984The sitcom special, aptly titled “The One Where They Get Back Together,” brought back all six members of the main Friends cast for a walk down memory lane. Filmed on the same set where the original show took place, the episode also included celebrity cameos from Reese Witherspoon and Tom Selleck and featured Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and BTS as musical guests.

Rather than attempt to recreate the chemistry of the original show, the unscripted TV event looks back on its legacy with a variety of behind-the-scenes segments featuring the cast and guests. During the episode, which runs just under two hours, the core six perform table reads of old scripts and share anecdotes from the set as various celebrity guests discuss their fandom. The Friends reunion was announced back in 2019, meeting widespread fan demand, but filming stalled due to the COVID pandemic. The homecoming special was meant to be released during the HBO Max launch last year after WarnerMedia bought the show back from Netflix, but delays in production in March and August postponed the special to an eventual premiere date on May 27th, 2021. The premiere coincided with the anniversary of the service’s launch.

Related: Janice’s Iconic Friends Laugh Only Happened Because Chandler Was Too Funny

Variety reports that the Friends reunion was viewed by almost as many households as Wonder Woman 1984 was during its premiere on Christmas last year. TVision estimates that 29% of U.S. streaming households watched the Friends special on HBO Max, compared to 32% who watched Wonder Woman 1984 on its first day streaming on the service. Those numbers are based on internet-connected TVs, so people watching on their phones or computers aren’t taken into account. According to the ratings, the majority of Friends viewers were women and people between the ages of 35 and 54.

Wonder Woman 1984 topped the streaming charts from December 21st, while it was still streaming on the DC FanDome platform, through the 27th, after it had moved to HBO Max. The superhero movie was streamed for a total of approximately 2.3 billion minutes, 35% more than the next most popular title, Soul. Friends’ 29% viewership rating is based only on its release date, but the show almost managed to reach Wonder Woman numbers based on one day alone. The reunion also beat out the streaming premiere of Mortal Kombat in April. Fans who missed the premiere can watch the Friends reunion at their convenience, as the HBO Max Original will continue streaming.

Friends ended in 2004 with satisfying resolutions for its characters, making a revival a tricky project to embark on. Creators Marta Kauffman, David Crane, and Kevin S. Bright, along with director Ben Winston, recognized as much, and the reunion’s executive producers take a more realistic approach that proves all the more touching for its honesty. Since it aired in the early aughts, Friends has achieved a level of cultural significance that extends well beyond the world of the show. Certain catchphrases, memes, and references to the sitcom are so pervasive that even people who’ve never seen the show find themselves talking like Chandler Bing without realizing it. Although the massive popularity of the special is remarkable, it’s unsurprising that generations of Friends fans would show up to the reunion.

Next: Zack Snyder’s Justice League Changes How You’ll Watch Wonder Woman 1984

Source: Variety

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