The release long-awaited Friends reunion has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the special will not be available for viewing with the launch of HBO Max in May.
Friends, originally airing from 1994 to 2004, detailed the lives of three men and women living in an apartment complex in New York City. Over its historic run, it ran for 10 seasons and its final episode boasted over 52.5 million viewers, making it the most watched show of the 2000s.
The reunion special is to feature Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc and was confirmed via the Instagram accounts of the original stars on February 21. The filming was to begin on March 24 in Burbank, California. However, due to the state and nationwide stay-at-home orders, production difficulties arose that made it impossible for the special to be released in a timely manner.
Fans may also be disappointed by the statement made by HBO Max alongside their initial postponement announcement.
In the statement, HBO Max stated, “In order to avoid any misunderstanding about what the special is, we want to make it very clear that this is not a new, original episode of the series. The cast will be appearing as themselves, not as their beloved characters.”
Many fans were expecting an entire new episode featuring the characters of the original show. However, the special appears to be a reunion of the cast rather than a return of the show.
It is currently unclear when production will resume due to the circumstances caused by COVID-19, however, the HBO Max streaming service is still to release in May alongside all 10 seasons of Friends.