The coronavirus (COVID-19) delayed Friends reunion special for HBO Max is slated to complete its filming by the end of the summer.
“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, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer Chairman Bob 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.”
However, Greenblatt stressed that if stay-at-home orders continue into the summer, then the upcoming streaming service may be forced to move to a virtual streaming option in order to shoot the much-anticipated reunion.
“We would have loved to have had it on [HBO Max on] Day 1, 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,” he said.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delay has pushed back the Friends reunion, which was scheduled to premiere during the HBO Max launch. The streaming service paid over $400 million for the exclusive streaming rights of all ten seasons of the NBC comedy series.
The untitled Friends special, which is directed by Ben Winston, will be available on HBO Max. Original executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane will also return to work on the special. HBO Max launches May 27.
HBO Max expects the Friends reunion special to complete its filming by the end of the summer.