Money & Banking
How much the Friends cast were paid for the reunion special
The cast of Friends made history in the early 2000s when they negotiated salaries of US$ 1 million per episode, making them the highest paid television stars ever.
And due to their previous success, many were left wondering how much they were paid to appear in last week's highly-anticipated reunion special.
Reported by the Wall Street Journal, they were originally offered the same as the series, US$1 million each, but according to the publication they turned it down causing further delays to the special which had been in taels for years since the finale.
When the reunion was announced to the public in February 2020, Variety reported the stars were being paid at least US$2.5 million each to revisit the show and their characters.
Plus, the cast also receive close to US$20 million a year in syndication payments, according to USA Today.
When the show began in 1994, the cast were paid $22,500 per episode. As the show's popularity exploded, the six lead actors eventually scooped a then-unprecedented deal for $1 million each per episode.
Speaking to News Corp, Lisa Kudrow described how the salary changed her life.
“We were the highest paid women in television,” she said.
“That afforded me so much freedom after the show ended. Not only did I get to be part of something that was so well written and so beloved and something that sustained interest all those years later, but it also gave me a lot of creative freedom so that I could pursue other things. It was very fulfilling for me.”
The reunion episode ended up delivering benchmark viewing around the world and Australia, where it set new records for its streaming provider.