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Friends reunion special delayed amid coronavirus outbreak

LOS ANGELES: The much-awaited reunion special of the hit sitcom ‘Friends’ has been postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hollywood Reporter said that the unscripted episode, set at HBO Max, was set to be shot next week at the iconic Stage 24 of the Warner Bros Studio lot in Burbank city where the original series was filmed.
The production will not go ahead at least until May due to rising health concerns amid the COVID-19 outbreak. A new date has not been set as yet as it is unclear when any programming would be able to resume work.
All six original cast members — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — are set to come together for the reunion as a launch title for HBO Max. The cast is set to earn more than double their former per-episode fee for the reunion and be paid between $2.5 million and $3 million for the special.
The special was reportedly set to film between March 23rd and March 24th production was halted as multiple sets and productions shut down in an attempt to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. It will now reportedly film in May at the earliest.
Ben Winston will direct and executive produce alongside Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman and Kevin Bright.
The Friends special marked the first time the cast would reunite on screen together since the show went off the air in 2004 and could have led to an increase in initial subscribers for HBO Max.
HBO Max will also be the exclusive streaming home for Friends. The show was available to stream on Netflix up until 1st January .
WarnerMedia paid an estimated $425 million for the rights to the series. It is not known if HBO Max’s launch will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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