The special was initially slated to premiere with the launch of HBO Max on May 27, but had to be pushed back due to the coronavirus. In the wake of the reunion's postponement, Marta Kauffman, the show's co-creator, told ET that she wanted to wait to tape the special until a live studio audience could be part of the experience.
"We all want it to happen. We just have to wait until it is safe. This is a show that is not scripted, but this is the way the show works -- we are going to need a live audience. Even if we socially distance that live audience, it really is a huge part of what Friends is... We cannot do it without them," she said in August. "Everyone is all in and we are just waiting for that time when it feels connected to bring in a live audience."
"There has always been a hope that a component of that reunion show will have a live audience, which makes the whole thing really tricky," he said. "We are obviously not going to risk anyone’s health by doing this."