What Will Happen to Matthew Perry’s Reported $20M Per Year ‘Friends’ Residuals?

Whatever one may think of the quality of the wildly popular sitcom “Friends,” the quantity of the show can’t be denied. That’s because the beloved NBC show, which ran from 1994 to 2004, is pretty much ubiquitous on cable television in 2023. From TBS to Nick at Nite to any number of local channels, from hospital waiting rooms to airport bars, there’s a pretty good chance that “Friends” is airing somewhere — nearly 20 years after the series finale. For the six actors who comprised the show’s central cast — Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox — that means those residual checks are frequent and hefty. As to just how hefty, there doesn’t appear to be any particularly up-to-date data, but a 2015 report from USA Today illustrated the enduring popularity — and profitability — of “Friends.” According to the report, the six core actors secured a deal to receive 2 percent of syndication income. That 2 percent amounted to a whopping $20 million annually for each of them — a figure that could be even higher now. (Of course, even if the actors didn’t receive a dime of syndication money, “Friends” was an immensely lucrative venture for them regardless. For the show’s final few seasons, they were reportedly bringing in $1 million per episode.) But what will become of Perry’s residual checks following his unexpected death last week? [firefly_poll] Charlie Douglas, a certified financial planner and president of HH Legacy Investments in Atlanta, told CNBC that there are three possibilities. One option is that Perry could have named a beneficiary to receive his residual payments through his actors’ union. A second option would involve Perry having named a trust. CNBC noted that a trust, unlike a will, is not a matter of public record, so the beneficiary may never be known. A third option is that Perry, who was unmarried and had no children, did not name any sort of beneficiary. In that case, the state would determine what happens to Perry’s future earnings — and that would be California, where Perry resided. If that happens, the likeliest scenario is that Perry’s parents would receive his residuals, Douglas said. They could also give up their rights to the money and let it go to Perry’s half-siblings.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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