The Friends Reunion Special Is Definitely Still Happening, Lisa Kudrow Says
After delays related to COVID-19, the actress confirms that the HBO Max special is still on the way.
The American sitcom Friends is one of the most beloved TV shows ever, and a reunion special was originally slated to premiere on HBO Max in 2020 as a marquee offering to help encourage people to sign up. However, filming was delayed due to COVID-19 and there is still no official word on when the show will premiere. Some are wondering if it's still happening at all.
Series star Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe on the show for all of its 10 seasons, said on Rob Lowe's podcast recently (via EW) that the reunion special is definitely still happening. Some of the sequences have been filmed already, in fact.
"There's different facets to it, and we already shot packages of things. I pre-shot something for it already so we're definitely doing it because I already shot a little something," she said.
The reunion special is not a Friends reboot, and the actors will not be in character. The special will instead be a reunion for the actors, who have not gotten together for a TV special since 2004 when Friends went off the air.
"It's not, like, a scripted thing. We're not portraying our characters. It's us getting together, which just doesn't happen a lot and has never happened in front of other people since 2004 when we stopped," Kudrow said. "I think it'll be great."
All six of the main cast members are coming back for the special. In addition to Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, and David Schwimmer will all take part. Series co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane will be included as well.
The special is set to film on the same soundstage on the Warner Bros. lot as the original series.
According to a report, all six stars are being paid between $2.5 million and $3 million to appear in the reunion. The actors are said to have collectively negotiated for the fees in the Friends reunion special. This is in keeping with tradition, as fans may recall that the actors also negotiated together to be paid $1 million per episode for the original show. This kind of collective bargaining was rare at the time, and it still is today for major TV shows.
When it's finally filmed and finished, the Friends reunion special will air on HBO Max. It will join a growing catalog of content on HBO Max, as Warner Bros. has announced that its entire 2021 movie slate will be available to watch on the streaming platform.
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