Tom Selleck has been a staple of TV for decades. Most viewers first knew him as the title character in Magnum, P.I. and can still see him on the long-running CBS police drama Blue Bloods.
But for a younger generation, their first exposure to Selleck was on a different show: the iconic sitcom Friends, where Selleck had a memorable recurring role as Richard Burke, the older boyfriend of Monica (Courteney Cox.)
While Selleck only appears in 10 episodes of the series, and doesn’t end up with Monica (alas, she marries her true love, Chandler) Richard Burke made a big impression among fans, and is often ranked as one of the best supporting characters and celebrity guest-stars on the series.
So when the cast of Friends announced they were getting back together for a reunion special, premiering on May 27 on HBO Max, people speculated whether or not Selleck would make an appearance.
In an interview with People last month, Selleck revealed that they “hadn’t asked” him to appear, but he would jump at the opportunity to do it.
So fans were relieved when the trailer was finally released this week… and yes, Tom Selleck is back:
One shot in the trailer shows Selleck walking on to the iconic Friends apartment set, indicating he’ll get to chat with the reunited cast of stars or perhaps participate in one of their trivia games.
He’s just one of the many draws of the special for Friends fanatics. In addition to having the complete cast reunited for the first time in decades, revisiting the set and reminiscing about their experiences, the special promises a number of homages to classic episodes (you can see Ross’ armadillo costume and Rachel’s bridesmaid dress on a fashion runway.)
But getting Selleck back is an extra special treat for fans. While the actor is busy filming Blue Bloods and likes to spend most of his time with family on his ranch, the actor was clearly game to return to Friends, which he says was a great experience.
“It was a great place to work,” Selleck told People. “The actors were grateful for the opportunity and they were all as good as you can get.”
“It just worked. I thought it was great.”
Despite being a major TV star by that point, thanks to his Emmy-winning role in Magnum, Selleck was actually hesitant to switch into sitcom mode.
“I hadn’t done a three camera live show since Taxi,” Selleck said. “It scared me a little. But that’s the price you pay for opportunity!”
But any hesitance Selleck might’ve had must’ve went away once he stepped on set: according to The Ultimate Friends Companion, Selleck’s entrances had to be reshot without an audience because of their excitement: “It was like The Beatles with the screaming and the applause.”
The casting was so successful that producers asked Selleck to extend his three-episode deal: “They said, ‘Hey can you do a few more?’ ” Selleck told People. “So then I did more. And I quickly realized, ‘Wow, this is a big deal.’”
He clearly left a big impression. Twenty years later, fans are still wanting more Friends — and more Tom Selleck!
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