Seminal sitcom Friends is returning to television after each of its six stars agreed multi-million dollar deals to star in four one-hour specials.

In a secret meeting before Christmas (05), Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, MATT LeBLANC, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry reportedly agreed a $5 million (GBP2.7 million) apiece deal with NBC bosses in Los Angeles.

Scriptwriters have already started penning lines for the four double episodes, which are due to air next year (06).

Aniston, who has filmed a string of movies since the final Friends episode, was the last to agree to the new deal.

An NBC insider says, "She's the one who had been holding out. But she's now agreed to reprise RACHEL (GREEN).

"Bringing them back is a dream come true. Ratings will go through the roof."

Network bosses have also hinted at a second spin-off of the hit comedy, following the disappointing performance of Matt LeBlanc's show JOEY. The new programme will see the three male stars - Perry, Schwimmer and LeBlanc - pilot a series called IT'S A GUY THING.

An NBC spokesperson confirms, "Negotiations on future projects are going on all the time."