Friends finished its run on NBC after ten seasons. However, many people may need to be aware that the friends was almost Canceled in Season 4, and the fourth episode could have been the last because of a severe actor conflict.
The show Friends starred Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Leblanc, Jennifer Aniston, and David Schwimmer. It nearly ended in season 4 for reasons many fans may need to be aware of. The actors of the show were about to paralyze the NBC series.
The six Friends actors started making the same amount of money. Their pay increased as the program gained popularity and had significant ratings. But due to Ross and Rachel’s status as a pair, David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston’s salaries increased significantly compared to the other four actors.
Why Friends was almost Canceled in Season 4
The contentious discussions between the Friends cast and the NBC network started there. As a result, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had their pay reduced. After that, the six friends’ salaries were divided equally, and they paid $75,000 per episode.
However, when they requested yet another increase in the fourth season, this new request did not sit well with the producers. So two finales, a season finale or a series finale, were prepared to be broadcast. Network executive vice president of sales Harold Brook, remembers the tense negotiations:
“The numbers were crazy when it came to renewing their contracts. We did two promos, one for a season finale and one for a series finale, recalls Harold Brook. The night before we announced the show, I was in a restaurant bathroom and got a call from Warners. ‘It’s starting, they said. Negotiations started around ten at night and ended around 3 in the morning.
Fortunately, Friends was not canceled after season 4, as the cast members were able to agree to an episode rate of $100,000 in light of the show’s rising popularity.