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HBO Max Launch Still Set, Delays ‘Friends’ Reunion Show Production

Fern Siegel

Filming the “Friends” reunion, a big plus for the launch of HBO Max, is on hiatus, reports Deadline. That is, at least until May — a delay blamed on the coronavirus. The streamer is expected to debut later that month.

However, a source told NextTV, WarnerMedia will determine how “we do that effectively.” All schedules are flexible, depending on what happens in future.

TV and film production has, for the most part, come to a standstill in Hollywood. The “Friends” cast — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer — will wait until the company gives the all-clear sign before resuming production.

All 10 seasons of the popular comedy will run on HBO Max, which paid $425 million for the rights. Prior to the deal, “Friends” proved to be a hit for Netflix.

The streamer announced last week it was adding “Julia,” a pilot order for a series based on the life and work of Julia Child, the famed cookbook author and host of “The French Chef.” “Julia” will star Sarah Lancashire (“Last Tango in Halifax,” “Happy Valley”) as the bubbly cook and Tom Hollander (“Bird Box, “Pirates of the Caribbean”) as her husband. Bebe Neuwirth (“Cheers,” “Frasier”) plays Child’s best friend.

HBO Max will cost $15/month. HBO Now customers who subscribe via HBONow.com can access HBO Max for free.

Last week, Nielsen projected U.S. streaming might rise 61 percent. It based its forecast on previous viewing figures during natural disasters.

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