March 12, 2013 9:00am PT by Philiana Ng
'Go On' Creator Reveals Secrets Behind the 'Friends' Reunion Episode
Could this be any more awesome?
In three weeks, Friends co-stars Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox will reunite for the first time in nine years on the small screen in the April 2 episode of NBC comedy Go On. For series creator Scott Silveri, it was crucial not to stage a reunion early in the freshman series' run.
"It's not a call that we wanted to make at the beginning of the season," Silveri tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We wanted to establish our cast of characters and our world." Go On follows recently-widowed sports talk radio host Ryan King (Perry) who joins a therapy group as he attempts to move on from the death of his wife, Janie.
According to the former Friends executive producer, there were multiple factors that helped solidify the anticipated Monica and Chandler reunion -- and timing was a big factor.
"Two things happened: We came up with a story that ended up being perfect for her, and she was [asked in an interview,] 'Hey would you ever go on Matthew's show?' and she said, 'Yea, sure!' Somebody in production read that and brought it to me at the same we had the story brewing," Silveri explains. "Then we said, 'You know who would be great for this? The lovely and talented Courteney Cox. It seems worth a call.' And god bless her; when we called, she was available."
Was there a barter with Cougar Town for Perry to drop by the TBS comedy? "No, there were no trades. We just sent them some wine. I know they like that over there," Silveri says with a laugh.
Nailing Cox down for the episode, which was filmed a few weeks ago, happened "very quickly" after the call was made, Silveri says. (Cox and Perry tweeted several on-set photos as teases.) It wasn't until he recently saw the first cut that it brought back a flood of old Friends memories. "It was really fun to see the two of them together," he admits. "The characters are very different, but it's this odd sense of deja vu, and I think people will get a kick out of it. I know I did."
In the episode titled "Matchup Problems," Ryan gets set up on a date with Cox's character by fellow therapy group member Anne (Julie White). "She plays a potential love interest for Ryan facilitated by Anne, who knows they'll hit it off," Silveri says. "[Cox's character], like Ryan, has lost somebody and she's dealing with it in more outrageous ways than he is."
"When we knew we were going to have her, we wanted to give her some fun with Matthew and some silliness to play. When you have someone great and funny, let's take full advantage of it and I think we did," he adds.
However, don't expect any Friends references or jokes thrown into the episode (so the likelihood of a "Can there be any ..." nod seems slim), "but I think you will recognize them from Friends," Silveri jokes.
As far as teases go, the Go On creator was coy about what sort of shenanigans Perry and Cox will get into in a few weeks time, but for the loyal "Mondler" fans out there, there could be a major romantic moment. (NBC released a preview March 5.)
"It's fun to see them in a romantic setting. There's some nice flirtation and there may even be a kiss for the diehard," Silveri teases. "The Monica and Chandler fans will be satisfied."
Will you tune in? Go On's Friends reunion episode airs at 9:30 p.m. April 4 on NBC.