Production delayed on ‘Friends’ reunion special due to coronavirus outbreak

Filming has been pushed back to May at the earliest

Production on the Friends reunion special is being delayed as studios across Hollywood shut down production due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The anticipated special is due to air with the launch of the WarnerMedia’s new streaming service, HBO Max. There is no estimated release date at this time, but a company spokesperson told AdWeek that “at this point, we anticipate launching HBO Max with the Friends Reunion Special.”

Variety has confirmed with sources yesterday (March 18) that filming of the Friends reunion has been delayed. It was set to film within the next week but it has now been pushed to May at the earliest.


The special would reunite original cast members Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courtney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), David Schwimmer (Ross), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and Matt LeBlanc (Joey). The Hollywood Reporter writes that the cast is set to “earn more than double their former per-episode fee for the reunion and be paid between $2.5 million and $3 million for the special.”

Additionally, HBO Max will also be the exclusive streaming home for Friends. The sitcom was available to stream on Netflix until January 1, 2020 until WarnerMedia paid an estimated $425 million for the rights to the series.

WarnerMedia hasn’t said if HBO Max’s launch will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Friends ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004. Its popularity seemingly hasn’t waned over the years. For instance, in the UK, it was the most streamed TV show for two years running (2018-2019).

Dozens of productions across the film and TV industry have been put on hold or their release roll-outs delayed – see the full, up-to-date list here.

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