When the coronavirus pandemic shocked the world, many shows, events and films were either postponed or canceled. That includes the highly anticipated "Friends" reunion, which fans have been clamoring for the past 16 years.
The reunion special, which will finally gather the six original pals in one screen, was set to be released on May 27 along with the launch of the streaming app HBO Max. But just like the other shows, it was pushed back due to the health crisis the world is facing right now.
Initially, the unscripted reunion special was scheduled to film last March, but the quarantine and lockdown restrictions prevented the team from pushing through -- leaving fans hanging on the air once again.
Surprise For Fans
Fortunately, it looks like "Friends" diehards would no longer have to wait in vain, as the much-awaited reunion may grace the screen sooner than expected. This is the revelation made by WarnerMedia Entertainment and Director-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt.
Speaking to Variety at the NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit, Greenblatt said that the team's goal is to complete and release the reunion special by the end of summer.
"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 shared.
Live Or Digital Reunion?
Greenblatt also explained that they are hoping to push through having a safe reunion with a live audience, just like how the hit 90s sitcom was filmed in the past. They are also trying to avoid the reunion special to go digital, like other entertainment projects.
"We do think there's a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together 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," Greenblatt explained.
However, the big boss noted that the current stay-at-home directives are keeping them from considering the digital option for the reunion.
"But 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 said.
Greenblatt understands that the fans are looking forward to the reunion special, which is why they are also eager to launch it in the summer if they cannot have it on HBO Max's first day.
Unscripted Reunion Special
It was in February when the TV execs gave the "Friends" reunion special the green light. On February 22, the six original cast composed of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer all took to Instagram to post the same promotional photo with a caption saying "It's happening."
Later that day, HBO Max's chief content officer Kevin Reilly confirmed that the reunion would finally happen.
Since the cast signed for an unscripted episode, it means that instead of getting a continuation story, a revival or reboot of the show, fans will see the six original pals getting back together to chat about their 25-year-old show.