HBO Max is postponing the launch of the Friends reunion special due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The special had been set to debut with the launch of WarnerMedia’s new streaming service.
The streamer has confirmed that the special, which will see the Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer reunite on stage for the first time in 16 years, has been delayed.
Production was set to start earlier this year before being shutdown by the global pandemic. There had been a contingency plan to film it in May ahead of the launch of the service, but the prolonged outbreak means that it will not be able to join all 236 episodes of the NBC show as WarnerMedia rolls out its service.
HBO Max says the cast will return to the iconic comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, once the production shutdown ends.
The special is to be directed by Ben Winston with the cast also serving as executive producers alongside Winston and Friends creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. The special hails from Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and Fulwell 73 Productions with Emma Conway and James Longman as co-exec producers.
The one-off event had been designed to help usher Friends reruns on the streamer, which shelled out $425 million for rights to the hugely popular sitcom, until recently one of Netflix’s biggest hits.
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