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'Friends' cast, other TV comedy actors will honor sitcom director

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(Read caption) 'Friends' stars (clockwise from l.) Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc, and Jennifer Aniston.

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Cast members from the NBC sitcom “Friends” and others from some of the network’s comedies are scheduled to appear on a TV special honoring sitcom director James Burrows.

Burrows has directed episodes of such programs as “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Frasier,” and “Friends” as well as non-NBC shows such as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” and “Laverne & Shirley.”

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The special is honoring his thousandth episode, which is an installment of NBC’s program “Crowded,” a sitcom starring Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston that is scheduled to air later this year on the network. 

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The special honoring Burrows will air on Feb. 21. 

All six of the main ensemble of “Friends” will appear on the special, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The news has attracted particular notice, as fans have been eager for a reunion of the stars since the classic show went off the air in 2004. 

Cast members from some of the other shows that Burrows has directed are also set to be on the program. 

Burrows directed installments of some of NBC’s most famous comedies, with shows such as “Friends,” “Cheers,” and “Will & Grace” serving as part of NBC’s famous “must-see TV” Thursday night lineup. 

Shows that appeared on this lineup over the years also include “Seinfeld,” “The Cosby Show,” “Mad About You,” and “ER.” 

While the "must-see TV" shows are some of the network's most famous comedies, NBC has now shifted mostly to drama programs following struggles with viewership for its new comedies. Some new comedy shows will premiere on the network this year. “Crowded” and “You, Me & The Apocalypse” are  two of the new shows planned. 

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New comedies “Telenovela” and “Superstore” also recently made their debut on the network. 

In addition, NBC is premiering original comedy content via its streaming service, Seeso, which launched Jan. 7. In addition to serving as a destination for some of NBC’s prior content like “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live,” the network is offering new shows as well on Seeso, including programs such as “HarmonQuest” and “The UCB Show.”