'Friends' Reunion Production Delayed Due to Coronavirus

The Friends reunion has been put on hold. The unscripted special, which was supposed to launch alongside the new streaming service, HBO Max, will delay filming due to coronavirus concerns, according to Deadline.

Given that the special, which will feature all six of the show's stars, will push back its production pushed back until sometime in May, it means that it won't be ready in time for the launch of HBO Max that same month. While the reunion had been teased for months, it was officially announced in February that it was not only happening but the service would also have all 236 episodes of the original series as well. At the time, HBO Max Chief Content Officer Kevin Reilly joked that "you could call this the one where they all got back together."

"I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation," Reilly continued. "It taps into an era when friends -- and audiences -- gathered together in real-time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans."

Worth noting that the upcoming streaming service doesn't have an exact release date just yet, it is expected to debut sometime in late-May.

Regardless, nabbing the rights to the beloved NBC sitcom was a huge score for HBO Max. Just last year, Netflix shelled out $100 million just to keep it on its platform through 2019. The series officially left the service on Jan. 1 of this year, and its absence is greatly missed by the show's dedicated fanbase.

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Friends debuted on NBC back in September of 1994 and starred Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. The sextet of actors played wayward 20-somethings trying to wade their way through their personal and professional lives together in New York City. Although, they also had a little help from the city's rent-control policies.

Friends lasted for 10 seasons and never dropped out of the top ten most-watched programs. When it aired its finale back in 2004, more than 52 million Americans tuned in to say goodbye. It made it the fifth most-watched series finale in television history as well as the most-watched television episode of the 2000s.