The stars of 90s hit sitcom FRIENDS are reuniting for a special episode on Thursday, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry will revisit the sets of the show almost 17 years later.
Fans have been demanding a reunion episode for a year and HBO has finally delivered it. However, it did not come cheap. During the show's original run, the cast was the highest-paid ensemble for any TV show. Therefore, it is to be expected that bringing them back together amid such excessive demand, would not come cheap for HBO either.
As per a report in Variety, the cast would have been paid approximately $2.5 million each for the episode. That amounts to almost ₹18.2 crore. Other reports in Hollywood Reporter and Deadline suggest that they might have been paid close to $3 million and $4 million.
FRIENDS earlier used to stream on Netflix but has now been moved to HBO Max. The latter reportedly paid $425 million for the show's rights. For years, it has been among Netflix's most-watched shows.
In 1996, The New York Times had reported that each member of the cast would get $22,500 per episode. They even banded together to demand a pay increase 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 season two, reportedly David and Jennifer got salary hikes while others made about half of their amount. By season 5, they were reportedly minting $100,000 per episode and by the final, 10th season, all of them were making $1 million per episode.
Jennifer is still among the highest-paid female actors on television. She reportedly got $2 million per episode for her Apple TV series Good Morning America.