News broke that everyone’s beloved Friends would be taken off of Netflix come 2019. The show was being pulled because it’s streaming contract with the site was up and WarnerMedia was going to place the show on their upcoming streaming site.
Fans were not happy and expressed their disbelief on social media. The strong reaction to Friends being unstreamable for less than a year convinced Netflix and WarnerMedia to keep leasing the show on the platform until the end of 2019 for a staggering $100 million.
The huge payday means that the stars of Friends will also be seeing a pay raise. According to the Daily Mail, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry each get 2% of the syndication income.
The cast has made more money through their syndication deal than they ever did while actually getting paid to act on the show. Typically the show garners $1 billion in syndication a year meaning each cast member receives an average of $20 million a year.
Thanks to Netflix’s $100 million check, the cast will receive an extra $1.4 million this year. So the cast will make roughly $21.4 million each this year for reruns of Freinds. Must be nice to do nothing and make millions.
The cast wasn’t always making millions.
When Friends first aired each member was making $22,500 an episode. With 24 episodes they each took away $540,000, which is still a lot of money.
During the second season of the show, the cast members were each making a different amount of money per episode ranging from $20,000 to $40,000. When season three rolled around, Schwimmer convinced the cast to join together and ask for raises. They ended up each making $75,000 per episode.
Their paychecks kept increasing. Season four they were making $85,000 an episode, then $100,00 for season five, then $125,000 for season six. The cast leaped to $750,000 an episode for season seven and eight.
For season nine and ten, the cast was making $1 million per episode.
The cast of Friends have made a ton of money from the show and will only continue to make more.