The cast of Friends still makes a tremendous amount of money even though the show ended over a decade ago.
According to a report by Marketplace, the cast started receiving syndication residuals once the show ended in 2004. The cast retained the rights to these profits after season 9 and 10 of the show, which is when they started earning $1 million per episode.
All Friends cast members Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry receive 2 percent of the syndication income, which is about $20 million for each person per year, USA Today reports.
The show brings in about $1 billion per year for Warner Bros. Each cast member receives about $20 million per year from the residuals.
It is important to note, in December, Netflix reportedly paid $100 million to Warner media to keep their licensing agreement between the two companies, which allowed Netflix to keep Friends on the streaming platform until the end of 2019, the New York Times reports.
Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Friends aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004, lasting ten seasons. With a cast including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, the show revolves around six friends in their 20s and 30s who live in Manhattan, New York City.
Crane and Kauffman began developing the show under the working title Insomnia Cafe in 1993. They pitched a seven-page treatment of the show. After several script rewrites and changes and several titles changes the series was finally named Friends.
Filming took place in Burbank, California and all ten seasons of Friends ranked within the top ten of the final TV season ratings. It ultimately reached the number one spot by season 8. The series finale had 52.5 million viewers, making it the fifth most-watched series finale in history and the most-watched TV episode of the 2000s.
The series was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning the Outstanding Comedy Series award in 2002 for its eighth season.