This is the astonishing amount of money the cast of 'Friends' are getting paid from re-runs of the show
It may have come to a close nearly fifteen years ago, but Friends is still a huge hit. More so than many other beloved sitcoms, it has endured over the years, being watched by multiple generations since the first episode came out in 1994. In fact, there's such a strong following for the show that fans pretty much rioted when they thought it was going to be removed from Netflix.
Netflix managed to acquire the rights in 2015, but as with many shows on the streaming service, there's an expiration date set for it. Under the details page for the show, some viewers found that the series was set to be departing on January 1 2019, and they were not happy.
It later turned out this was all a misunderstanding - or at least that's what Netflix said about it. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told investors during a conference that the show's departure was just a rumour, before it was officially announced on Twitter.
It was later explained away as a glitch, but two anonymous sources later claimed that it was all part of the ongoing negotiations between Netflix and WarnerMedia (the company that owns Friends).
The initial deal they struck was due to expire at the end of 2018, but the streaming service had been working for months to get an extension. However, being a pretty valuable asset to them, they ended up paying $100 million for the license - a huge jump from the $30 million they previously paid, the New York Times reported. Both Netflix and WarnerMedia declined to comment on these reports.
These huge numbers just go to show that people still care about the show and that the reruns, whether it's on Netflix or on TV, are pretty popular too. What you may not have known, however, is that the cast of the show make money off all these episodes beyond the initial sum they got for starring in the episode at the time. In fact, they could be earning an astonishing $20 million every year.
In the 10th and final season of the show, each of the six leads were all being paid $1 million for each episode - which is a hell of a lot considering there were 24 episodes. But their earnings didn't end there, as they had the forethought to sign up to get a 2% syndication fee in 2002, meaning that they are still making money even though they haven't stepped into those roles for over a decade.
While that 2% sounds like a small amount, the incredible amounts that WarnerMedia make means this translates into a tidy sum of around $20 million a year. So, while fans are desperate to see the gang reunite in some sort of special (or even another season), it looks like they're all doing alright for money just based of this sweet deal they sorted out 17 years ago.
Here's hoping they turn out for some more episodes just for the hell of it.