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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 16:41 GMT
Friends bid for '$1m' episodes
Friends
Friends: Has proved enduringly popular around the world
The cast of the hit US sitcom Friends are asking up to $1.1m (785,000) each per episode to make a ninth series, according to reports.

It is thought that the start of talks - between the programme's makers Warners Bros and legal representatives for the actors - mean the cast have not ruled out making another series, said Daily Variety.

The talks come after months of speculation over the future of the series, which has proved enduringly popular around the world.

Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox-Arquette, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry are currently paid $750,800 (530,000) per episode.

They turned down a previous pay increase offer of $799,000 (564,000) per show.

Profits

Doubts over the show's future have been increased by the cast members themselves.

LeBlanc said last month he "honestly didn't know" if there would be a fresh series.

Schwimmer said he wanted to leave showbusiness to become a teacher.

Both Warner Bros and NBC, which broadcasts Friends in America, want another series of the show.

And the talks are said to cover two issues, the amount Warner Bros will pay the cast and what NBC will pay the studio for the show.

As well as their salaries, the cast receive a percentage of the profits from the show being re-sold and from the sale of videos and DVDs.

Friends makes most of its profits for Warner Bros from its sales outside America and re-runs on cable channels.

See also:

16 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Channel 4's 100m Friends deal
20 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Friends stay together - Schwimmer
21 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Friends in the money
11 Nov 98 | Entertainment
$1m Christmas bonus for Friends
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Pitt and Roberts oust Hannibal
09 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Aniston sues over topless photos
30 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Brad and Jennifer tie the knot
30 Jul 00 | Entertainment
In pictures: Jennifer and Brad's wedding
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