Friends reunion special still slated for May despite coronavirus production delay
Your Friends will still be there for you — despite a production delay due to the coronavirus.
EW has learned that, for now, HBO Max's highly-anticipated unscripted Friends reunion is still set to debut in May even though filming has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The special — which will bring together all six original Friends stars on screen for the one-off reunion — was supposed to film next Monday and Tuesday at the show's former stage on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, Calif. But due to the current global pandemic and health concerns, production has been pushed to May though a new filming date has not been determined.
However, the hope is still to have the Friends reunion special debut in May with the launch of HBO Max. Of course, things could still change as the entire entertainment industry is in a constant state of flux due to social distancing and self-quarantining as a result of the spread of the novel coronavirus — almost all Hollywood productions are currently shut down to comply with federal and state guidelines limiting how many people can gather in one place in the hopes of stopping the spread of the virus.
When it does finally film, all six original cast members — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer — are set to reunite for the exclusive untitled unscripted special on WarnerMedia’s new streaming platform. When HBO Max launches in May (with an exact date yet to be announced), the special and all 236 episodes of the beloved NBC series will be available to subscribers.
“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV, previously said in a statement. “I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends – and audiences – gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans.”
Ben Winston (The Late Late Show With James Corden) will direct the special and will executive produce along with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. All of the six core cast will also executive produce the special.