Jennifer Aniston is a much-loved household name who’s become a firm fixture on our TV screens. Her breakout role in ‘Friends’ made her an international celebrity, but how much did she make from the show?
Though Jennifer Aniston’s exact earnings from ‘Friends’ are undisclosed, she made $22,500 per episode for season one, $100,000 per episode by season five, and a staggering $1,000,000 per episode in seasons nine and ten. Since 2000, Aniston has also received 2% of the show’s annual syndication income.
Read on to learn more about how Jennifer Aniston continues to profit from ‘Friends’, after all this time.
Star of The Small Screen
Jennifer Aniston gained more than just popularity for her role as Rachel Green, in the beloved sitcom ‘Friends’.
As one of the show’s six main characters, Jennifer Aniston starred alongside Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer for the show’s 10 seasons.
Though Aniston had been pursuing an acting career for a few years prior to ‘Friends’, playing the part of Rachel was undeniably her breakout role, and launched the rest of her career.
Whilst on the air, the cast were paid handsomely per episode for their roles and their wages grew with the show’s success.
For the first season, the cast were reportedly paid $22,500 per episode, a hefty figure when you consider that each season had an average of 24 episodes.
When the second season rolled around, it became clear that not all the main cast members were receiving the same pay. Reportedly, Jenifer Anniston and David Schwimmer were receiving a higher salary, given the centrality of their characters’ romance to the show.
For this season, the cast earned between $20,000 to $40,000, but they resolved this variation in time for the third season by banding together to negotiate equal pay, and received $75,000 per episode.
For season 4 they got $85,000, for season 5 it jumped to $100,000, and by season 6 they were making $125,000.
According to Entertainment Weekly, cast member Lisa Kudrow is to thank for Aniston’s immense salary, as she took charge of negotiations.
For the female cast members their $1,000,000 salary in the final two seasons made them the highest paid actresses on TV at the time, securing them a position in the Guinness World Records book.
Rolling in Royalties
Though the ‘Friends’ cast parted ways after the show’s tenth and final series, they had the foresight to make a deal to ensure that they’d continue to benefit from their iconic participation.
The cast received syndication royalties after negotiations in 2000, which means that they earn money from reruns of the show.
The continued popularity of the show means that it seems to be on TV screens almost constantly, and so it’s not surprising that Jennifer Aniston pulls in considerable money from the deal.
USA Today reported that annually, Warner Bros receives $1 billion in syndication revenue from the show, and as Jennifer Aniston gets a 2% cut of that income, she earns around $20 million a year.
Fans of the show have been lobbying for a ‘Friends’ reunion ever since the final season, but none was forthcoming until 2019, when The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the production of a reunion special, featuring Jennifer Aniston and the other main cast members.
It looks like there are even more ways for Aniston to make money from ‘Friends’.
Watch Jenifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow tease about a ‘Friends’ reunion in the YouTube video below.