‘Friends‘ is one of the most evergreen sitcoms ever made. The series aired from 1994 to 2004 and made a lasting impact on the lives of many viewers. Naturally, fans couldn’t contain their excitement when it was announced that the cast of ‘Friends’ would be reuniting for a special retrospective episode. The special is known as ‘Friends: The Reunion‘ (alternatively titled ‘The One Where They Get Back Together’) and features the original show’s cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer.
They reassemble to entertain fans by sharing their experiences on the show and reenacting some classic moments. If you are wondering how much money the cast received for the reunion, you have come to the right place. Here are details about the salaries the cast received for the reunion episode.
How Much Did Friends Cast Make For the Reunion?
Back in 1994, ‘Friends’ was the first major role for most of the main cast members. In its first season, the show ranked number 8 in the list of top-rated primetime television shows. Of course, this was only a glimpse of what was in store. Over its ten-season run, the show’s popularity exploded. Season 8 ranked number 1 on the same list, and by the time its series finale aired, it was still extremely popular. This popularity reached new heights when the series landed on streaming services and gained legions of fans.
Naturally, the show’s popularity boosted the careers of stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, making them household names. As per their initial contracts, the cast members received a salary of $22,500 per episode. The cast was paid different amounts varying between $20,000 to $40,000 per episode for season 2. Ahead of season 3, the cast collectively negotiated their contracts and earned $75,000 per episode. Their salaries were further hiked, rising to $85,000 per episode for season 4, $100,000 for season 5, $125,000 for season 6.
By this time, the stars were highly sought-after talents in Hollywood, and their salaries received a massive bump for seasons 7 & 8, with the amount hitting $750,000 per episode. For the penultimate and final seasons, the cast received $1 million per episode, making them one of the highest-paid actors on television. The cast also received a significant amount of royalties from their appearances on the show. It has been reported that the cast receives 2% each of the revenue Warner Bros. (the show’s parent studio and distributor) earns. Warner Bros. makes approximately $1 billion from reruns and streaming rights. To simply do the math, it translates to an annual income of $20 million for each of the cast members.
Since the end of ‘Friends,’ the cast has gone on to have successful careers. Therefore, gathering them under one roof for another episode was always going to be an expensive affair. Trades have reported that all six cast members received a sum somewhere between $2.5 million to $3 million for the reunion special. That’s arguably the highest amount a cast received for a single episode in the recent past. The numbers just stand to prove the undying popularity of ‘Friends.’