Coronavirus Delays ‘Friends’ Reunion, Netflix Slows Down Streams

Warner Bros

We’ve got sad news for “Friends” fans.

On February 22, fans learned that Rachel, Monica, Ross, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler were going to reunite for the first time since the show’s finale aired on May 6, 2004–and were plenty excited about it for good reason!

But with coronavirus bringing many film and TV productions to a halt, production for the “Friends” reunion is now on pause as well. Yeah, we’re bummed too.

‘Friends’ Reunion Delayed Thanks to Coronavirus

We don’t know much about the “Friends” reunion just yet. But early reports suggest that it might be a retrospective, where the beloved cast takes a look back at the show that caused their lives to change forever.

But will it be forever before “Friends” fans can finally see this happen? According to Deadline:

“Given the severity of the health crisis, which ground all Hollywood production to a halt in a matter of days, it is currently doubtful that any film or TV production could resume by May though the situation is being evaluated week by week and even day by day. Right now, there are strict federal and state guidelines limiting public gatherings to help curb the spread of the virus, which are expected to be in place for weeks.”

There is a bit of silver lining, however. Although production has been delayed, the special’s premiere date might not be affected.

No official release date has been announced. However, it’s believed that the reunion will be available for streaming when HBO Max makes its debut.

While you wait, it might be a good time to explore natural stop smoking aids and other respiratory care. Then, we can all be in good health together by the time the special airs, which will reportedly be sometime in May.

Related: Jennifer Aniston Confirms that Friends Cast is Up for a Reunion

Netflix to Slow Streams to Stop Internet From Breaking

Netflix removed “Friends” from its lineup in January. So, “Friends” fans will need to find new entertainment to tide them over. That is, until the series becomes available on HBO Max.

There’s a bit of bad news there, too, however. Netflix has plans to taper the breaks on its download speeds in an effort to reduce network bandwidth. Why? Well, now that millions of people are now stuck at home, Netflix’s servers are overwhelmed. At least, in Europe they are–but will the United States be next?

Netflix released a statement obtained by EW, saying:

“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings — and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus — Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days.  We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”

Netflix has also suspended production on all films and scripted series in Canada and the United States for at least two weeks. Many talk shows and late-night programs are doing the same through at least March 30.

Related: Hallmark Schedules Early Christmas Movie Marathon to Help With Self-Quarantine