Friends Reunion Won't Tape Until There Can Be a Live Audience: 'It's Worth Waiting for'
Fans might have to wait a little longer than anticipated for the Friends reunion.
After the coronavirus delayed production of all television and film projects indefinitely, the HBO Max Friends reunion will likely get a fall premiere date, according to Variety.
"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," Bob Greenblatt, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman, told the outlet. "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."
And with many shows turning to Zoom and other video technology to film reunions, Greenblatt said the plan is to still tape in front of a live studio audience, just like during the sitcom's 10-season run.
"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," Greenblatt explained.
HBO Max announced the reunion in February. The entire cast — including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc — will return to the comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, California, for a celebration of the series.
If they are able to shoot the reunion they originally envisioned, Greenblatt said fans won't be disappointed.
"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,” Greenblatt 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."
In the meantime, all 236 episodes of the series will be available to subscribers of HBO Max later this month.
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