Friends fans will have to wait just a little longer now to see the long-awaited and highly-anticipated Friends reunion special on HBO Max. In a recent interview published by Variety on Monday, May 11, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt revealed that the taping for the unscripted Friends reunion show has been put on hold indefinitely due to the ongoing public health crisis.
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The HBO Max Friends reunion special was initially scheduled to begin production on the show’s original sets on Stage 24 of the Warner Bros. Studios lot before its premiere with HBO Max’s launch on May 27.
“At first we thought, shows will be delayed for a month or two at the most, and now it seems like it’s going to be far longer than that,” Greenblatt told Variety. “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.”
“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,” he added.
Though he hopes to have an audience on set for the reunion special, Greenblatt said that if social distancing rules continue past the summer, a virtual reunion may be considered.
“But at the moment, we’re trying to look to the future and get this thing done in a more conventional way, and I think it’s worth waiting for,” he said. “We would have loved to have had it on [HBO Max on] day one, but at the same time, if we can get it launched in the fall, I think it’ll be something that we can have the audience really looking forward to as well.”
The HBO Max unscripted Friends reunion special encountered its first delay last month. Whenever the episode does start production, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will reunite to reminisce about the hit sitcom and share rare behind-the-scenes stories and footage, among other special surprises.