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Negotiating the Impossible by Deepak Malhotra

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12CHANGING THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

Negotiating with Your Friends

IN FEBRUARY 2002, NBC and Warner Brothers made headlines when they signed the most expensive deal in television history for the rights to a 30-minute sitcom. The show was Friends, a situation comedy about six friends living in New York City. This would be the tenth and final season, ending a decade-long run in which the show was nominated for over 60 Primetime Emmy Awards (winning six) and was ranked in the top five shows on TV in all but its first season. It was undoubtedly a great show, but that is not enough to explain how much the actors playing the six main characters were paid for the final season.

Many comedies have one clear star surrounded by an ensemble of other characters. ...

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