The stars of the ’90s hit sitcom FRIENDS reunite for a special episode on Thursday, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry will revisit the sets for the series almost 17 years later.
Fans have been clamoring for a reunion episode for a year, and HBO has finally delivered it. However, it was not cheap. During the show’s original airing, the cast was the highest paid ensemble of all television shows. Therefore, it is to be expected that bringing them together in the midst of such excessive demand won’t come cheap for HBO either.
According to a report in Variety, the actors were paid around $ 2.5 million each for the episode. It comes down to almost ??18.2 crores. Other reports in Hollywood Reporter and Deadline suggest they could have been paid between $ 3 million and $ 4 million.
FRIENDS used to stream on Netflix, but have now moved to HBO Max. The latter would have paid $ 425 million for the rights to the show. For years, it was among the most watched shows on Netflix.
Also read: FRIENDS MEETING: Your Favorite Sitcom Weren’t Always Healthy, Here Are 5 Problematic Plots
In 1996, the New York Times reported that each cast member would receive $ 22,500 per episode. They even banded together to demand a pay rise after the success of their show. They demanded salary increases to $ 100,000 each per episode, plus a percentage of the series’ profits in syndication. In the second season, David and Jennifer reportedly got pay raises while others earned about half of their amount. In season 5 they would have hit $ 100,000 per episode and in the 10th season finale they were all making $ 1 million per episode.
Jennifer is still one of the highest paid actresses on television. She reportedly received $ 2 million per episode for her Apple TV series Good Morning America.