Coronavirus goes too far & delays Friends HBO Max reunion special

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

They'll still be there for us, albeit, after we figure out how to fight COVID-19. It has been announced that the eagerly anticipated unscripted Friends reunion special that was set for HBO Max, has been delayed amid coronavirus concerns.

Per "The Hollywood Reporter", the special was all set to begin filming next Monday and Tuesday on the series' former home at Stage 24 of the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, CA. Following the lead of most current productions that have had to cease filming due to the coronavirus spread, the special has been delayed until at least May. A new formal filming date hasn't been revealed at this time because it's up in the air when any programming can get back in front of the camera due to the current state of affairs.

The unscripted special, which will reunite stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry & David Schwimmer, was poised to help usher in the start of the Friends library being exclusively available on the new streaming service. The reunion has seen its share of problems before we even knew what the coronavirus was. First, there was an issue over money to get the cast back for the special, which took a while to negotiate. A deal was finally made with the cast reportedly earning between $2.5 and $3 million for special which is double their former per-episode fee. Even beyond financial negotiations, scheduling the cast to be together all at once was also an issue. For example, Jennifer Aniston was working on season two of The Morning Show for Apple before production on the series was halted over COVID-19. Courteney Cox recently signed on to headline a Starz horror-comedy, Matt LeBlanc leads the cast of the CBS comedy Man With a Plan & David Schwimmer is also busy starring on the European drama that is set for the NBC streaming service, Peacock.

Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Friends endured in popularity as it became one of the most streamed shows on Netflix. The series officially left the streamer in late 2019 in a deal to bring the show to the WarnerMedia-backed HBO Max. WarnerMedia paid $85 million per year for five years to reclaim streaming rights to Friends, outbidding Netflix which had paid $80-100 million to keep Friends on its service for 2019. Needless to say, both services know how much fans love Friends and they'll flock anywhere to relive moments from their favorite episodes. The special was just the icing on the cake to see the cast together again, even if it's only for an unscripted retrospective special.

Will YOU be streaming Friends on HBO Max when it arrives. Were YOU looking forward to the special?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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