For 10 seasons, Friends had us hooked. The American sitcom that stole hearts 25 years ago, continues to do so even today. The adventures of six friends living in New York as they navigate life, relationships, and careers, still live with viewers today in their hearts, as well as on a number of popular streaming platforms.
The six actors who played the main characters in the show quickly rose in terms of popularity, as well as wealth, once the sitcom became a hit. Here is a look at the earnings of the cast members of Friends.
How much did the 'Friends' cast make for every episode of the sitcom?
The Friends cast started off with an earning of $22,500 per episode in the first season of the sitcom. In the second season, their earnings were bumped up to $40,000 per episode. Before the filming of the third season, the cast banded together to negotiate their earnings. They ended up with a decent deal that paid $75,000 per episode for season three, $85,000 per episode for season 4, $100,000 per episode for season 5, and $125,000 episode in season 6.
Ahead of the filming of season 7, the cast got together again and negotiated for a massive raise. They each ended up earning $750,000 per episode in seasons 7 and 8 due to this. For the last two seasons of the sitcom, the cast members each ended up earning $1 million for every episode.
How much do each of the stars earn now?
The contract negotiations of the Friends cast in 2000 also allowed them to be able to demand backend points on the show. This would allow them to earn royalties off the show's sale into syndication.
Today the sitcom generates more than $1 billion per year in syndication royalties and streaming deals. Every time the show is sold to a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, the cast members earn off the sales. It has been reported that each cast member earns $10-20 million in royalties from the show.
For Friends Reunion, all the five stars were paid up to $2.5 million each for a one-evening work. Admitedly, that's not much when compared to their previous record earnings from the show.
Friends has played a huge role in amplifying the popularity and earnings of the cast members - Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.