Every time reporter Ding Zhouyang, intern Li Jianing Every time editor Dong Xingsheng
After a year’s postponement, the “Friends” reunion special program finally came.
Recently, HBO Max (a streaming media platform owned by Warner) released a blockbuster news on its Twitter account that the much-anticipated “Friends” reunion special program was officially released on HBO Max. On May 27th, iQiyi, Tencent Video, and Youku were launched simultaneously. The six leading actors finally reunited 17 years after the final season of “Friends”, which attracted many netizens shouting “Ye Qinghui”.
According to “Variety” reports, each actor in this special program will be able to receive at least 2.5 million US dollars in compensation.
When “Friends” brought a wave of nostalgia to fans, it also allowed various content platforms to enter the game. Domestic video platforms also aimed at this opportunity. The “Friends” reunion special program was jointly launched on the three major platforms of iQiyi, Youku, and Tencent Video.
On May 28, iQiyi, Youku, and Tencent Video also issued a statement stating that within a few hours after the “Friends Reunion Special” was launched, a large number of infringing and pirated videos appeared at station B, which seriously damaged the legitimate rights and interests of copyright owners. The three major platforms stated that, as the stakeholders of the “Friends Reunion Special” spread on the Internet information network in mainland China, they strongly condemned such acts of disrespect for intellectual property rights and flagrant piracy, and resolutely resisted such infringements. Up to now, B station has deleted “Friends” related videos and content.
Image source: official poster
Unsurpassable American TV series TOP1
The six leading actors will meet again after 17 years
When the six leading actors of “Friends” walked into the studio one after another, the theme song “I’ll Be There For You” sounded, and the fans in front of the screen cried. “After the final reunion, the six leading actors have only got together once, until today.” The reunion program was subtitled, and this reunion was long-awaited.
“Friends” is an American TV sitcom. The story focuses on six old friends living in Manhattan, New York, and describes the ten years of ups and downs that they have gone through together. On September 22, 1994, “Friends” was first aired on NBC (National Broadcasting Corporation), and then it was produced at a rate of one season a year until the end of the tenth season on May 6, 2004. With the six elders You left the apartment for various reasons, and also put an end to the drama that lasted for ten years.
Image source: Tencent video screenshot
For many Americans, “Friends” represents the youthful memory of a generation. The ratings of all ten seasons are among the top ten of the year. When the tenth season finale aired, it attracted 52.25 million American viewers. Won the 54th Emmy Awards for Best Drama in Comedy, nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards 62 times, and ranked No. 1 among the 100 most popular American dramas selected by the authoritative American media “Hollywood Report” in 2015 One.
At the same time, “Friends” also captured the hearts of many Chinese audiences. A reporter from “Daily Business News” found through a search on Douban that “Friends” ranked fifth in the first season of Douban American TV series. From the point of view of the scores, the ratings of “Friends” from the first to the tenth seasons were both 9.7 and 9.8. The score surpassed many high-scoring American dramas such as “The Big Bang Theory”, “House of Cards”, and “Game of Thrones”.
Image source of Douban scores for some of the “Friends” series: Douban
According to “Hollywood Reporter”, the “Friends” reunion special program was proposed in 2019. It should have been filmed in March 2020 and will be broadcast on May 27, 2020, the first day HBO Max went live. However, due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, the recording plan of the show had to be suspended and was postponed to this year.
Today, the forthcoming “Friends” reunion special is a one-hour scriptless dialogue with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBron, Matthew The six leading actors of Perry, David Humer and the producers David Krani and Marta Kaufman will all return to Warner Studio 24 to participate in the recording. Although it was not the sequel that the audience expected, it was the reunion of the six leading actors after 17 years, and it once again awakened the memories of countless audiences who loved “Friends”.
According to the news released by HBO, this reunion special program also invited many special guests such as David Beckham, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and so on to come and make guest appearances.
Warner spends $425 million
Bought the five-year broadcasting rights of “Friends”
According to “Variety”, this “Friends” reunion special program will bring each actor an income of no less than 2.5 million US dollars. During the filming of the tenth season, the six actors jointly negotiated to raise the pay to the level of $1 million per episode per person. The pay for this special program was more than double the pay for the single episode.
In addition to the remuneration, the copyright of “Friends” is more valuable.
Previously, “USA TODAY” reported that Warner can earn $1 billion in revenue every year only by selling the broadcasting rights of “Friends”, and the six leading actors in the play can also earn 2% of the revenue each year, or $20 million. This means that as long as “Friends” is still on the air, even if a few actors do nothing, 20 million dollars will fall from the sky every year.
In 2015, the streaming media platform Netflix obtained the exclusive streaming rights to “Friends” for US$100 million, and “Friends” became the second most broadcast program on the platform. At the end of 2018, Netflix, which was supposed to have broken up with “Friends”, couldn’t stand the audience’s fanatical love for the show, and extended the broadcasting copyright of “Friends” for another year for a price of $100 million.
However, the two are still fate in 2019. Warner Media, which was acquired by AT&T, launched the streaming media platform HBO Max. In order to enhance its competitiveness, it obtained the exclusive rights to play “Friends” for 5 years at a price of US$425 million. 85 million US dollars. Although Netflix also tried to keep this sign in its hands, it lost to Warner in the bid.
Different from domestic online video operators relying on advertising to make money, foreign countries often adopt paid membership systems to target the revenue channels more to the C-end. Obtaining the copyright of audiences’ favorite dramas is the key to their revenue growth. Warner bought the broadcasting rights of “Friends” and offered a special reunion program on the first anniversary of the launch of the streaming media platform HBO Max, which is undoubtedly a good move to increase the number of members. And 17 years after the broadcast of “Friends”, there is still such a huge energy, which can not help but be sighed.
Real-time query of global new pneumonia epidemic