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‘Friends’ Reunion Special on HBO Max Delayed Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Jason Gurwin

In February, a much anticipated reunion special, that would bring the entire cast of “Friends” – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer – was confirmed for the launch of HBO Max. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the special will no longer be available in time for the HBO Max launch in May, reports Deadline.

When all settles, the show will be filmed from the comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for a celebration of the show. While the unscripted cast reunion special will no longer be available at launch, all 236 episodes of the series, will be available to subscribers when HBO Max debuts.

The road to a “Friends” reunion special has been a bumpy one, but now it seems the full cast, along with Warner Bros. TV, have finally found a middle ground that they’re happy with. Budget for the reunion special is reported to be in the $20 million range, with each cast member getting between $3 million to $4 million for appearing in the special.

HBO Max launches in May 2020 and will be $14.99 per month. Those with HBO Now or those who get HBO through AT&T or DirecTV will automatically get HBO Max at no extra charge.

HBO Max will also be the exclusive streaming home for all episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as well as “Pretty Little Liars.” Those shows will join The CW originals starting with “Batwoman” and “Riverdale” spinoff “Katy Keene.” The CW’s streaming deal with Netflix expired in May. Current CW series already streaming on Netflix (like “Riverdale” and “The Flash”) will continue to do so until they wrap their runs.

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