To Top

How ‘Friends’ Stars Earn an Annual $20 Million Each Nearly 15 Years After the Show

“Friends” ran for almost a decade, relatively a longer airtime compared to other series right now but there are far more others that stayed longer in the scene. However, the sitcom had left something that’s not erasable, something that’s still lingering within today’s pop culture despite airing its last episode 15 years ago – making it one of the most successful and influential shows in the history of television.

For those who don’t know “Friends,” here is the gist: The show revolves around five pals, Rachel Green played by Jennifer Aniston, Joey Tribbiani played by Matt LeBlanc, Chandler Bing played by Matthew, Ross Geller played by David Schwimmer, Perry, Monica Geller played by Courteney Cox and Phoebe Buffay played by Lisa Kudrow, living together in a New York apartment, whose life and love were sprinkled with each others’ antics. The simple friendship dynamics of the circle was probably what made it a click among the viewers, the funny, uncensored stuff about what’s really happening in a group.

The cast of “Friends” still get $20 million each 15 years after its last episode

Influence of the Show

In totality, “Friends” had 236 episodes, with the last one aired on May 6, 2004. Even if it was already a long time since it ended and left fans hanging and craving, more and more viewers still re-watch the show, making it easy for streaming services to earn money. That’s not all, even younger generations are binge-watching the show and have discovered a newfound love for it, which speaks a lot on the effectivity of the series despite generation gaps.

Netflix, one of the most used streaming platforms of today that has an extensive library of content, is quite enjoying the massive influence of “Friends,” with the show being the second most-watched second to “The Office.” Another study said that the sitcom is the most binge-watched in 2018, so its macroscopic effect should be sufficient to say that it is still earning enough despite no new episodes.

Collective Effort Among the Cast Members

Nearly 15 years after the finale, the cast are still getting a whopping $20 million each – talk about a lucrative project! This is just 2 percent of the syndication earnings of “Friends,” which, at first, sounds so meek despite the massive show, but wait till you hear how much Warner Bros. gets out of it every year: $1 billion.

This may be a result of the collective effort of the lead stars, who negotiated their way for a higher pay. It was reported that each was earning about $22,000 per episode in the first season, and on the second season, they had different earnings. By 1997, the actors refused to work until they were promised to get $100,000 per episode, which was quite usual among those celebrities who feel they don’t get what’s right in their work.

The cast were united in pushing for a higher wage

What’s interesting, however, was their solidarity in pushing for a single purpose, which is to get a higher salary. Finally, their efforts and hard work paid off and by the last season, each of them was receiving $1 million per episode and not only that, the deal reportedly included re-runs – which means that re-runs we now have today are still making the bosses and the actors of the show earn.

Pullout from Streaming Services

In October last year, Warner Bros. announced that it will be pulling out “Friends” from all streaming services this year because it will soon have a dedicated service. Netflix which couldn’t handle losing the show this 2019 decided to shell out a whopping $100 million just to have license on airing the series till the end of the year. Interestingly, this was $30 million more than what they paid in 2018, and of course, this was seen as a lucrative move from the streaming giant.

A “Friends” reboot had long been asked for by the viewers, but sadly, there is still no update so far

Statistics would show that “Friends” remains loved nowadays and that there will be more and more viewers who will choose to subscribe and pay fees just to watch it, which may also be fueled by the never-ending hype. With Netflix paying truckloads of money on Warner Bros., it simply means bigger paychecks for the stars. What’s sad for avid fans, however, is that there is still no reboot of the show despite the loud clamor for one. In an interview, Aniston revealed that she, Kudrow, and Cox were all eager to create a reboot but the same is not necessarily the case for the boys, LeBlanc, Schwimmer, and Perry.

More in Rich & Famous

You must be logged in to post a comment Login