15Negotiating Salaries

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You certainly know about the successes of the contract negotiations between the Friends cast and the studios, but little is ever spoken about the other side. Sure, the cast made off like bandits in the end. They got together and negotiated as a unit, and it worked exceedingly well. For

the final seasons, each of the cast members made over $1 million per episode. But, after about the three-quarter mark, when their salaries were first offered to be increased up to $700,000 per episode, the cast came back with a request for $1,050,000. The NBC team was not prepared to pay this during season eight, so they came up with a plan to scare the cast down from such a high number. Garth Ancier, one of the show's producers, went to the promotions team and asked them to cut promos saying, "You've loved them for seven years, see how it all ends with the series finale of Friends this Thursday at eight." They showed this to the cast and got their way…at least for a little while longer.

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