They’re on a Break—The ‘Friends’ Reunion Special Is Delayed Due to Coronavirus

Photo: NBC.

The one where the Friends cast avoids COVID-19. The Friends reunion date is delayed due to coronavirus, and no one told us life was going to be this way. According to sources for The Hollywood Reporter, the reunion, which was set to reunite the six Friends for a special on HBO Max in May, will be postponed because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Per THR, filming for the reunion was scheduled for next Monday (March 23) and Tuesday (March 24) at the show’s former set at Stage 24 on the Warner Bros. Studio Lot in Burbank, California. THR reports that production for the reunion has been delayed until at least May or even later if the coronavirus continues.

The Friends cast—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow—announced the reunion in February with matching posts on their Instagram. Each cast member wrote, “It’s happening” alongside a photo from their 1995 Rolling Stone photoshoot.

The reunion will be the first time the six Friends will be together since the end of their show in 2004. Five of the Friends (excluding Perry) reunited in 2016 for a NBC tribute honoring Jim Burrows, who worked on several seasons of Friends.

As for $$$, several outlets report that the cast will make between $2.5 million to $4 million for the hour-long, unscripted reunion. The salary is a lot more than what the cast first made in the show’s early days, which was around $75,000 per episode.  By the show’s end, the cast banded together to receive $1 million each per episode.

In a recent YouTube video, Cox (who said she would recast Timothee Chalamet as Joey in a Friends recast) teased that the reunion will be very special for Friends fans. “We’re going to have the best time. It’s going to be great,” Cox said, adding that the cast has never returned to Central Perk and “actually sat there and talked about and reminisced about this incredible experience that we had.”

The original release date for the Friends reunion was set for May when HBO Max launched. However, after the coronavirus crisis, it’s been delayed to an undetermined date. Per THR, HBO Max is still planned to launch in May as a streaming platform.