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Friends viewership soars after Matthew Perry’s death

Streaming numbers for the much-loved sitcom spiked after Perry’s death in October

Nicole Vassell
Wednesday 29 November 2023 10:59 GMT
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Watch Matthew Perry's most iconic Friends scenes

American Friends fans turned to their favourite show to mark the death of Matthew Perry, causing streaming numbers to soar.

Perry, who played Chandler in the ever-popular sitcom, died unexpectedly at his Los Angeles home on Saturday 28 October. He was 54 years old.

According to recently released statistics, the comedy series gathered 583 million minutes of viewing on the US streaming platform Max between 23 and 29 October – a 31 per cent gain from the previous week.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, this viewership marks the biggest total watch time for Friends since early February, suggesting that viewers turned to the programme immediately in tribute to Perry.

In the UK, Friends is available to stream on Netflix. In the days shortly after Perry’s death, the programme’s first season re-entered the platform’s top 10 chart, and remained there for two weeks.

Soon after Perry died, his castmates Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer released a united statement sharing their feelings of immense loss.

“We were more than just castmates. We are a family,” they wrote. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”

(Getty Images)

Perry was laid to rest on 2 November at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills, with his funeral attended by his family and close friends, including all five of his remaining Friends castmates.

In the month since the shocking news broke, the stars of the show have released individual heartfelt tributes in remembrance of Perry.

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Perry’s stepfather, Canadian broadcaster Keith Morrison, broke his silence on Monday (27 November). The 76-year-old Dateline correspondent tweeted asking for donations to The Matthew Perry Foundation in celebration of Giving Tuesday.

“This is not the sort of thing I commonly do, this pitch. But this year is different,” Morrison wrote. “And tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Do what you can; he would have been grateful.”

The Matthew Perry Foundation was established by The National Philanthropic Trust after the star’s death. Its mission is to help “others struggling with the disease of addiction”, the website states.

“It will honour his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible.”

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