The cast of “Friends” will be there for you…eventually.
According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, HBO Max’s planned unscripted reunion special featuring the main cast of the hit sitcom has been delayed once again due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on physical production. Filming dates are still to be determined.
The special was originally supposed to film back in March with a live audience. Those plans were scrapped when the pandemic shut down productions across the entertainment industry. WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt then said in May that the company was hopeful the special would shoot by the end of the summer.
“We’re holding out for being able to get this special done hopefully by the end of the summer, if the stars align and hopefully we can get back into production,” Greenblatt said at the time. “We do think there’s a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together and we didn’t want to just suddenly do it on a web call with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms.”
The “Friends” reunion has been in the works for months but was officially announced in February. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer are all set to return for the unscripted reunion, which is set to film on the original “Friends” soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank.
It was meant to help launch HBO Max in May, with the streamer set to be the exclusive streaming home of all 10 seasons of the beloved comedy series.
WarnerMedia reportedly paid over $400 million for the rights to the series, outbidding Netflix. Nielsen had previously reported that the show was one of the most-watched on Netflix, though Netflix does not provide any viewership data.