Friends Reunion Special Remains Delayed Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Sorry, Friends fans — the highly anticipated unscripted reunion special remains on hold.
Due to the ongoing production shutdown related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the production dates for the HBO Max special are still to be determined, PEOPLE has learned.
HBO Max announced the reunion in February. The taping is set to reunite the entire core cast of the beloved sitcom — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc — on the comedy's original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, California.
In May, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt confirmed that the reunion had been pushed back.
"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," he 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."
Greenblatt said the plan was 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," he said. "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."
"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," he continued. "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 are available on HBO Max.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.