Friends: The big problem with the actors that almost canceled the series in season 4


Friends ran on the NBC broadcast network for 10 seasons. The sitcom, which premiered in 1994, quickly became a worldwide cultural phenomenon unsurpassed by any other show to date. Since it came to an end in May 2004, the series has added more fans to its legions in these two decades.

The hit NBC series still remains in the memories and hearts of viewers. Millions of fans were hooked, with each of the funny stories narrated by the characters that participated in the comedy, and that from the first moment began to be part of their lives. Until now, many long for a return of Friends to the screens, but unfortunately that is something that will not happen.

The truth is that Friends is full of many stories not only on the screen, but also behind the scenes of the series. It makes sense, that in a show that has been on the air for ten seasons, so many things and situations have happened that directly involved the main cast members.

Many Friends fans probably don’t know that the sitcom starring Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer was about to stop production on season 4 due to being presented a big problem with the actors. The NBC series was about to be paralyzed by the interpreters of Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, Monica, Rachel and Ross. Well, the talented actors of that time began to gain fame through Friends, and for that reason they began to request a salary increase. So much so, that the series was almost cancelled.

It turns out that at the beginning of Friends, the 6 actors began receiving the same salary. And as the show achieved success with high ratings, the salary grew along with the fame. However, the salaries of the interpreters of Ross and Rachel rose significantly with respect to the others, due to their popularity as a couple.

It was there that the tense negotiations between the cast of Friends and the NBC network began. As a consequence, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer accepted a pay cut, and then the 6 friends returned to equal salaries and all earned $ 75,000 per episode each. But, when in the fourth season they asked for another increase, this new request did not please the producers and so two endings were prepared to be broadcast: a season finale or a series finale, as Harold Brook tells in the book Top of the Rock : Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV.

“The numbers were crazy when it came to renewing their contracts. The night before we announced the show, I was in a restaurant bathroom and got a call from Warner. ‘It’s starting,’ they said. Negotiations started around 10 p.m. and ended around 3 a.m. We did two promos, one for a season finale and one for a series finale,” recalls Harold Brook, executive vice president of sales for NBC.

Fortunately, Friends was not canceled with season 4, since the actors of the series managed to negotiate 100,000 dollars per episode, in view of the growing popularity of the series. In fact, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer ended up pocketing a million dollars per episode.