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The Friends Emmys reunion honoring Matthew Perry almost did happen, but there's an emotional reason it didn't

Friends alums Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer had been rumored to reunite at the Primetime Emmys in honor of their late co-star

Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
Online News WriterNew York
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For the milestone 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, producers of the show pulled out all the stops, reuniting a handful of former co-stars from beloved shows in the name of television history.

First off, the awards kicked off with a tearful, surprise appearance from Christina Applegate, and special reunions from the casts of Ally McBeal, Cheers, Grey's Anatomy, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and more followed.

However, one reunion some fans expected to happen but didn't was from the Friends cast – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer – who had been previously rumored to gather in honor of their late friend and co-star Matthew Perry.

WATCH: Emmys In Memoriam

The late actor – whose seminal Chandler Bing character is one of comedy's most memorable and influential – passed away on October 28 from acute effects of ketamine, among other health complications. His former co-stars subsequently paid tribute in joint and individual statements, and were all seen attending his funeral in November.

While thousands of fans would have loved to see them get together at the Emmys in honor of Matthew, Emmys executive producer Jeannae Rouzan-Clay has since said "it's still very fresh" for the remaining cast members.

In a post-Emmys conversation with The Hollywood Reporter alongside fellow executive producer Jesse Collins, the two detailed their approach to the In Memoriam segment, considering the passing of television greats like Matthew, as well as Norman Lear, the brains behind legendary shows such as All in the Family and The Jeffersons.

The In Memoriam segment ended with Matthew© FOX
The In Memoriam segment ended with Matthew

Though the producers shared they did talk "early on" about the potential of a Friends reunion, they revealed they ultimately opted to not do it, and the idea was never pitched to the cast.

MORE: Minnie Driver reveals special talent of the late Matthew Perry: 'He made people feel good'

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Jesse explained: "I can imagine, from their side, they're mourning someone who was still very close to them," adding: "I can't speak for them, but we all have to respect that they were their own family. It was probably just a little too soon."

FRIENDS -- "The One With The Rumor"-- Episode 9 -- Aired 11/22/2001 -- Pictured: (l-r) , Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller-Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller© Getty
Friends was on the air from 1994 to 2004

They then focused on how to give "special attention" to both Matthew and Norman, while making sure no one else deserving of a mention was left "slighted."

MORE: Jennifer Aniston opens up about Matthew Perry with emotional new message

In the end, they found their "perfect setup;" they started the segment with All in the Family alums Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers presenting, starting the slideshow with Norman, and after Charlie Puth alongside The War and the Treaty performed "When I See You Again," they segued into a mellow rendition of the iconic Friends theme song, "I'll Be There For You," ending the slideshow with Matthew.

Matthew Perry at film premiere 2009© Getty
Matthew passed away aged 54 on October 28

While the Emmys aren't typically part of the January to March awards season slate, Monday's ceremony was honoring the Television Academy's 2023 nominees, after the awards were pushed forward from September due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, which ended in November.

Some of the biggest winners of the night were Succession, The Bear, and Beef, plus stars such as Quinta Brunson, Ayo Edebiri, Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Allen White, among others.

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