How much the cast of Friends makes from reruns

Warner Bros makes $1bn each year from syndication revenue 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 01 September 2021 19:55
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Friends season 5 episode 16: Ross tries to move the sofa 'PIVOT!'

Friends may have ended in 2004, but the show remains popular and binge-worthy to this day.

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.

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 over 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.

This article was originally published in August 2019.

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