'Friends' reunion special won't be available for HBO Max launch

Still, by the time you've watched all 236 episodes, the unscripted reunion should be almost ready!
/ Source: TODAY

"Friends" fans are going to have to wait a little longer for the much-anticipated cast reunion special.

A Warner Bros. spokesperson has confirmed to TODAY that the unscripted special, already delayed in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not be available on the HBO Max streaming service when it launches in May.

"As was previously reported, production is delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said the spokesperson. "This means that the special will not be available on the streamer on Day 1 of launch."

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The good news? "It is coming!" the spokesperson continued. "The cast and producers are all very excited to go into production, as this will be the first time since the show ended that the whole cast will be together, and on the original sets to reminisce. There are loads of great surprises in store and lots of rare behind-the-scenes footage they are eager to share. We will keep you informed as plans solidify and once we have a firm premiere date."

Beloved sitcom "Friends" ran from 1994-2004 and had been making headlines about a possible reunion of its stars — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — for many years. Fans were thrilled in February to learn that there would finally be a reunion, then learned in March that production had been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

HBO Max has not announced an official launch date, but once it begins in May, the service will hold all kinds of shows like "The Big Bang Theory" and "Friends."

But the spokesperson wanted to make one thing very clear about this upcoming "Friends" reunion special: It's not a new episode!

"In order to avoid any misunderstanding about what this special is, we want to make it very clear that this is not a new, original episode of the series," said the spokesperson. "The cast will be appearing as themselves, not as their beloved characters. And though fans will have to wait a bit longer for the reunion, they can watch all 236 episodes of the series on day one of HBO Max launch in May!"

And that should tee you up nicely for when the special does finally premiere!