Eighth season ‘Friends’ sign hefty contract for another 24-episode season with prime-time NBC

Amy Dziobek Staff Writer

There is a saying that goes, “The best way to keep your friends is not to give them away.” NBC knows the value of this expression and has many of its viewers excited over the decision to continue their award-winning sit-com “Friends” through its eighth season.
Jennifer Aniston and castmates, currently in their sixth season, signed a contract recently for a projected $150 million package deal. The popular Thursday night show will remain at its coveted 8 p.m. slot for another two years.
This figure gives roughly $1 million per actor for each episode over a projected 24-show season. The actors currently earn $125,000 per episode. The pay raise will help make “Friends” the most expensive half-hour in prime time television history.
The sit-com’s Warner Brother producers are convinced they will keep NBC’s “Must See TV Thursday” lineup in the top-rated slots it has held for the past five years.
The cast will also get a bigger piece of the syndication sales, going from a half point each to a full point.
After denying rumors that Aniston’s character, Rachel, might die in childbirth on the episode’s season finale in May, NBC has expressed its enthusiasm with the return of the most-watched show.
Over 25 million viewers watch the six characters manage life in the urban sprawl of upscale Manhattan each week.
NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker told Entertainment Tonight, “It’s no secret how important ‘Friends’ is to NBC.”