How the 1994 Series ‘Friends’ Cast’s Iconic Decision Was Replicated Beautifully for 2007 Fan-Favorite Drama ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Published 07/22/2023, 7:05 AM EDT

via Imago

The year 1994 gave us a beautiful show that people still love, Friends. The story of six friends living together, and growing together, gave a lot of people love and hope. While the theme song said, “I’ll be there for you,” the cast members of the show proved it even off camera as well. After a few years, the cast of another hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, replicated what the 1994 show’s cast members did for each other.

It is rare when the actors work together for a considerable amount of time together and do not create a bond with each other. That is what happened with the cast of The Big Bang Theory. Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg were earning a whopping amount of $1 million per episode in 2014. Apart from these 5 main characters, two more stars joined after them, with the salary lower than the other cast members.

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So, during their contract negotiation for seasons 11 and 12, the lead five actors decided to reduce their salaries to match with Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, per People. As surprising as it might sound to you, it worked, and they all got the same salaries. This action by the cast of the hit CBS sitcom replicated the same move done by David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston.

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Aniston and Schwimmer’s on-screen chemistry and love story took off. Therefore, they got a raise after the second season of the show. However, these two knew they were making more than their co-stars. Therefore, they all talked it through and the Ross-Rachel fames happily sacrificed their salaries.

How high did the Friends cast go in their salaries?

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From the third season onwards, each actor in the show was earning $1 million per episode with royalty profits as well. However, the biggest increment came in the middle of seasons 6th and 7th. The actors’ salaries increased from $125,000 to $750,000 per episode. Lisa Kudrow, who portrayed the character of Phoebe Buffay in the series, opened up about it afterward.

She said all the actors made the show together. Additionally, this was the show where the characters were the story itself. Therefore, they all deserved this hike in their salaries. Matt LeBlanc, who got his spin-off series, Joey, which made the cast members a little upset, also supported Kudrow’s statement.

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All the cast members earned $20 million per annum for the show’s royalty as well. Sticking together as teammates, on-screen and off-screen was beautifully showcased by the stars of both show’s actors. Which show do you love the most? What do you think about the imitation by The Big Bang Theory actors? Tell us in the comments below.

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Neha Chande

1879 articles

Meet Neha Chande, an entertainment writer at Netflix Junkie, who has written more than 1100 articles. With a Master's degree in English Literature, Neha believes in unbiased journalism. Before delving into her passion for writing and cinema, she taught English and communication skills as a facilitator and lecturer.

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