Friday 18 October 2019

Revealed: How much cast of Friends make from reruns

'Friends' is celebrating its 25th birthday by becoming the most-streamed-ever TV show, having found a newly devoted audience on Netflix.
'Friends' is celebrating its 25th birthday by becoming the most-streamed-ever TV show, having found a newly devoted audience on Netflix.

Chelsea Ritschel

Friends may have ended in 2004, but the show has remained popular and binge-worthy 15 years on.

As a result of the continued support from fans, the cast continues to make significant profits from their iconic roles, even after giving up their regular spots at the Central Perk.

While some episodes and themes of the show may not have aged well, that hasn’t stopped Warner Bros from earning $1bn a year from syndication revenue, according to USA Today.

For the six main cast members, who earn two per cent of the show’s syndication revenue, it means an annual income of $20m each - just from reruns.

When Friends first aired, each cast member was paid $22,500 per episode, according to MarketPlace.

However, by the third season, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer were reportedly making $100,000 per episode.

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A bunch of Friends. Photo by Gerald Weinman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

By season nine, the cast had negotiated a salary of $1m each per episode, a deal that was, at the time, the largest-ever for a 30-minute television show.

During negotiations two years prior, it had been decided that the cast would receive syndication profits - a benefit that had previously only been offered to stars who had ownership rights in a show, according to The New York Times.

And despite it being 15 years since the last episode aired, it seems likely that the six main cast members will continue to profit from the sitcom - as Netflix proved Friends is still an extremely desirable commodity when it paid a reported $80m to Warner Bros to keep the show on the streaming service through 2019.

Independent News Service

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