$1m Friends

Cast signs for new series

The cast of Friends has agreed to make another, final, series - with a $300,000 an episode pay rise.

The pay deal makes Friends the most expensice half-hour TV show ever.

Stars Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston (pictured) will now earn just over $1million for each of the 24 episodes in the ninth season.

However, they are still not the highest-paid actors on TV, as Frasier star Kelsey Grammer last year struck a deal for $1.6 million an episode.

One insider told Variety that negotiations were "pretty friendly," adding: "It was a very amicable negotiation, without much stress or strain."

Scott Sassa, from the NBC network that screens Friends in the States, called the new deal "a wonderful event for everyone".

Friends has returned to its spot at the top of America's TV ratings this season.

And the whole cast has been signed, indicating rumours that Jennifer Aniston's character Rachel was to die in childbirth were ill-founded

The agreement that next year will be the final season of Friends isn't written into the contract, but all sides have that understanding.

Published: 12 Feb 2002

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