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May 26, 1999 12:00 AM

The “Friends” cast is due for a major salary hike next year, reports Variety, which also reveals that Santa — or Warner Bros., actually — was very good to the TV show’s stars this Christmas. Each, says the paper, “was recently given $200,000 after the studio ruminated over several possible perfect gifts to give David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow. Initially, the studio planned to give them Range Rovers.” Warners’ generosity is seen as a move to counteract the bad feelings the cast felt after the studio had given Drew Carey a Porsche earlier this year and the $1 million bonus presented to each “ER” top-liner when NBC paid a record $13 million licensing fee to the studio. Jennifer, David, et. al., meanwhile, had been given only paperweights.

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