Fans of the hugely popular American comedy series ‘Friends’ seem set to be disappointed at the recent news delivered by Matthew Perry on ‘The Graham Norton Show’. Although the other cast members seem set to feature directly in the two-hour NBC tribute to a former director of the show, the actor who played Chandler Bing will be unable to attend in person.

Several previous ‘false dawns’

Rumours of an emotional re-union for the six original members of ‘Friends’ have been rife for many years now, with several ‘false dawns’. Five of the close-knit group of pals – David Schwimmer, Courtenay Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc – are expected to appear on the special programme.

But Perry is featuring in a play in London, which is where he is believed to be introducing the rest of the stars from.

Tribute to ‘Jim’ Burrows

The special show has been made as a tribute to James (’Jim’) Burrows, one of the directors of ‘Friends’. Perry told Graham Norton that it isn’t going to be “the reunion everyone is hoping for,” which fans have been looking forward to ever since the series finale. That final episode aired on May 6th, 2004 in America and was watched by a staggering audience of around 52.5 million viewers.

Logistics proving a problem

It seems to be proving extremely problematic to get the sextet back together on screen, with the entertainment chairman for NBC (Robert Greenblatt) suggesting last week that a full re-union may not be “logistically” feasible at the moment.

Those fears have been confirmed with Perry’s bombshell.

Top ten ratings throughout

Following its Television premiere in 1994, Friends proved a big success with viewers both domestically and internationally over its ten-season run. The show, revolving around the lives of six friends who lived close to each other in Manhattan, made the top ten in the US TV ratings each season it went out, reaching the top spot in the eighth season.

Aniston become a film star

It has certainly done little harm for the fledgling acting careers of the (previously) little-known main cast as well. Aniston, who portrayed Rachel Green on ‘Friends’, has done particularly well as a consequence and has become an international film star in the aftermath. Box office success has been evident from a string of comedy and romantic comedy parts, including ‘Bruce Almighty’, ‘Marley & Me’ and ‘We’re the Millers’.

Given the heavy workloads of most of the main stars it seems hardly surprising that getting them all together at one time is a tricky conundrum to solve, but for now five out of six ain’t too bad.