From the 1990s sitcom FRIENDS, the well-known cast came in together for a FRIENDS reunion special episode. The most-awaited reunion finally aired on May 27, 2021, on HBO Max featuring the lead cast members Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc as they revisit the sets of the show around 17 years later. Fans have been demanding a reunion episode and HBO has finally delivered it. Little did we know, it did not come cheap.
The ensemble cast was one of the highest-paid actors during the original run of FRIENDS in the history of the television industry. And now when the cast came back for the reunion special, they are again getting a huge sum of money. Earlier according to a report by Variety, the group of Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, and Matthew Perry will be receiving a whopping $2.5 million each for the episode in the FRIENDS reunion show.
However, as per the reports from “The Hollywood Reporter”, this sum is even higher. It said that there’s a possibility that they have been paid between $2.5 million to $3 million each for the episode. The cast was earning a then historic $1 million for each episode by the end of the show. During its original run, the cast famously renegotiated their salaries to receive equal pay on the show. And, the current amount is almost triple the amount they were earning while they were a part of the show’s original run. Like earlier, Jennifer Anniston is still one of the highest-paid female actors in the television industry. Reportedly, she got $2 million per episode for the series “Good Morning America”.
The New York Times had reported in 1996, that each member of the cast would get $22,500 per episode. After the success of the show, they even banded together to demand a pay increase. They demanded salary increases to $100,000 each per episode. Also, a percentage of the series’ profits in syndication. Reportedly, in season two, Jennifer and David got salary hikes while others made about half of their amount. However, they were minting $100,000 per episode by season five. Finally, all of them were making $1 million per episode by season 10.
All over the world, the FRIENDS reunion episode aired on May 27, 2021, on HBO Max, except in one country, India. In India, it was premiered on Zee5. If you don’t know, FRIENDS original series was earlier streaming on Netflix. Now, it has been moved to HBO Max. Reportedly, to reclaim the streaming rights of FRIENDS on its own platform, WarnerMedia has paid a massive sum of $85 million per year for five years. The total amount is around $425 million which is paid. However, the Indian audience can still watch the FRIENDS show on Netflix. Without a doubt, FRIENDS is one of the most-watched shows on Netflix.
Before, the reunion show, the FRIENDS cast had shared the much-awaited trailer of the reunion episode. In the trailer, there is a glimpse of Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Jennifer Aniston in the reunion special. David Schwimmer is seen playing the guessing game at one point in time from the original show with other cast members. Take a look at the FRIENDS reunion trailer again.
We saw the whole reunion on 27th May but there were a few people from the show who didn’t join the reunion. Their presence would have really elevated the show but sadly they were either not invited or couldn’t attend. Here we have listed a few people from the show who deserved to be at the reunion, you can click here to find out the names or watch the video below to know more.
Before the reunion, the cast went on several talk shows as well. In an interview before the reunion, they shared some really great insights about themselves. Here in the video below, we managed to bring in a moment when they discuss all the things that they have stolen from the sets after they ended filming the show.
On NBC in 1994, FRIENDS premiered with a perfect pilot episode. It was created by David Crane, Kevin S. Bright, and Marta Kauffman. However, the show still managed an upward trajectory by earning impressive ratings from the outset and became one of the most successful television shows of all time. It ran for 10 seasons globally and was watched by over 50 million people. Moreover, a special event celebrating the sitcom’s legacy was commissioned with the announcement of the HBO Max streaming service.
The show became so popular that it made household names out of its stars and characters. It includes Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc’s Joey Tribbiani, Courteney Cox’s Monica Geller, Matthew Perry’s Chandler Bing, Jennifer Anniston’s Rachel Green, and David Schwimmer’s Ross Geller. The fans from all over the world got entangled with the journey of these six friends. And in the reunion special, reminiscing about the series, the stars shared lots of life stories and secrets about each other and the show that aired for 10 seasons on NBC. It felt like they never left off and no time has been passed.
On February 21, 2020, HBO Max confirmed that a reunion of the original six cast members, i.e., Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc would help launch its service that May. The special would be unscripted and will take place at the original soundstage of FRIENDS, i.e., Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank. Alongside the six cast members, original FRIENDS producers Marta Kauffman, Kevin Bright, and David Crane will co-executive produce the reunion special. Ben Winston will direct the special and executive produce it as well alongside James Longman and Emma Conway.
Well, The FRIENDS reunion is finally out, and fans are soaking in the good old days of the hit sitcom from all across the globe. Although because of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was put on hold by the production. But, now finally it is featured on May 27, 2021, and fans are going crazy.
Enjoy the most-awaited FRIENDS reunion. Please, share your views about it and the huge amount being paid to the cast for the FRIENDS reunion show.