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‘Friends’ cast re-pact

After months of tense and sometimes public negotiations, Warner Bros. Television has inked a new contract with the entire cast of the NBC hit “Friends” through the 1999-2000 season.

The studio completed its negotiations with the cast late last week. While Warner Bros. declined to comment on the terms, sources familiar with the pact said cast members will get roughly $75,000 per episode for this season, a hefty increase from the $30,000 to $35,000 cast members got for the first two season. In year four of the show, cast members Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will receive about $85,000. The salary will then go to $100,000 in year five and $120,000 in year six.

While there had been speculation that David Schwimmer would look to exit the show after year five, he decided to stick with the program.

The “Friends” cast last July said it wanted more money after Warner Bros.’ syndication arm sold reruns of the hit to TV stations for about $4 million per episode.

So far this season, “Friends” is averaging a 17.0 rating and 28 share, according to Nielsen and continues to lead off the Peacock web’s powerhouse Thursday-night lineup at 8 p.m.

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