This upcoming Sunday (Feb. 21), NBC will host a special tribute to celebrate James Burrows, who just directed his 1,000th TV episode.
He directed his 1,000th episode on Nov. 24, 2015, while working on Crowded, a new NBC comedy starring Carrie Preston, Patrick Warburton and Stacy Keach.
Last Saturday, Saturday Night Live gave a brief glimpse as to what Rachel Green, one of the characters on Friends, has been up to since the show ended in 2004.
Friends is one of the shows that Burrows worked on, and the tribute to Burrows will feature a reunion with five of the six cast members. Matthew Perry won’t be at the tribute, but he did record a message that will be aired during the tribute.
Burrows directed his first sitcom in 1974, directing an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and is one of the best sitcom directors of all time, according to WKYC.
Some of the casts that worked with Burrows over his career are reuniting at the tribute, including the casts of Friends, Fraiser, Cheers and Two and a Half Men. Even shows that are still on the air are taking part in the reunion, with The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons taking part in the reunion. Cast members of Mike & Molly, which is in it’s last season on CBS, will also take part in the reunion.
Others who will take part in the tribute include Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Kate Flannery.
According to Variety, part of what makes Burrows so good at his job is how he’s able to take other directors under his wing and show them the ropes. He worked with Pam Fryman, who went on to work with How I Met Your Mother during its run from 2005 until 2014.
Throughout his career, Burrows has won 10 Emmy Awards and four Directors Guild Awards. He’s also directed the pilots of many shows, including Will and Grace. He also is credited with co-creating Cheers with Glen and Les Charles.
According to Variety, he said sitcoms need at least one strong romance that helps hold the show together.
“You can’t build it,” Burrows says. “It’s like when you fall in love. The styles just have to mesh. It’s got to be there from day one.”
Deadline broke the news of the tribute back in November 2015 and the tribute was confirmed on Jan. 13, 2016 by Bob Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment Chairman.
The tribute, called Must See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows airs from 9-11 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21 on NBC.