This Update On The ‘Friends’ Reunion Special Will Bum Fans Out
As the world adopted social distancing practices to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a highly-anticipated addition to HBO Max had to get pushed back. While Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Ross, Phoebe, and Joey were scheduled to head back to Central Perk with the launch of the new streaming service in May, an update on the Friends reunion special confirmed filming had been postponed due to the pandemic. Here's what we know so far about the delayed production:
It's been several months since it was announced that the long-running NBC comedy would have a new home on WarnerMedia's new streaming service after leaving Netflix in 2019. Adding to the excitement of the full Friends library moving to HBO Max, fans also found out they'd be seeing some new content from stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer in the form of a reunion special. Although the orange couch gang wouldn't be reprising their roles and continuing their characters' stories, fans were still pumped to see the stars reunite during the unscripted special and reminisce on their time during the decade-long show while on the original set.
While filming for the reunion special was slated for March 23 and March 24, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed these plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations against more than 50 people gathering in one place. (According to THR, there are generally hundreds of people on set while filming an episode, so that was an inherent no-go.)
In a July 20 interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Schwimmer revealed the updated plans for filming the special: "It's supposed to happen maybe in August, the middle of August. But honestly, we're going to wait and see [in] another week or two if we all determine it's really safe enough to do. And if not, we wait until it's safe."
Schwimmer also hinted at what's to come when the reunion finally does happen. "It's basically a really fun interview, and then some other surprise bits," he told Fallon.
So, fans will have to wait a little longer to see the original core six reunite on the iconic set, but it sounds like it'll be well worth the wait.
"We’re going to have the best time," Cox said in a February YouTube segment. "It’s going to be great. We really haven’t all done that and actually sat there and talked about and reminisced about this incredible experience that we had … It’s going be fantastic."
In the meantime, fans can tune in to HBO Max to rewatch their favorite Friends episodes, all of which are available on the streamer now.
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Editor's Note: This post was updated on July 21, 2020, to include new information about the Friends reunion special filming schedule.
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