Friends reunion on HBO to follow ‘strict guidelines’ amid COVID-19 pandemic with no live audiences and cast tests


THE Friends set will appear very different for stars filming the long-awaited reunion episode in August, with “strict” rules for social distancing.

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown saw the HBO Max follow up to the iconic US sitcom put on the back-burner at the start of the summer.

Yet The Sun reported how the cast of Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt Le Blanc will return to set next month.

UK publication The Mirror has told how filming will be hugely different to the cast being cozied up on the sofas at Central Perk Cafe.

A source told the publication: “There are going to be very strict guidelines and that includes no live audiences,’ one source told the outlet.
“All of the cast will be tested for Covid-19, and asked to quarantine in isolation after they’ve had the tests.”

Martha Kauffman, who co-created Friends with David Crane, gave fans a glimmer of hope over the reunion date.

She told The Wrap : “We are hoping to be able to shoot in August, if all is well and there is no early second wave and the studio is open.

“If everything is in place and we understand all the protocols and we can still make a good show, we’ll be shooting it some time, mid-to-late August.”

The cast are set to film the special in the show’s original Burbank studios in California as long as the coronavirus situation doesn’t get any worse in the US.

Lisa, who played Phoebe, recently hinted there would be more to the reunion special than just a traditional trip down memory lane.

The 56-year-old told Digital Spy last month: “It’s definitely going to happen.[The planning] was pretty far along, but it seemed pretty clear that if people can’t gather then we can’t do it.”

Friends originally aired on NBC from September 1994 until May 2004 and consisted of 10 seasons and 236 episodes.



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