David Crane is a writer and a producer, best known for co-creating the popular sitcom FRIENDS. He’s also created the show called Episodes, starring Matt LeBlanc, one of the main cast members of Friends. The show premiered on NBC in 1994 and ran until 2004. It went on to gain tremendous viewership that translated into a devoted fanbase. With immense popularity also came a lot of money. According to some reports, the sitcom had made about $1.4 billion for the stars and the creators. The show multiplied its popularity and revenue with each new season. While it made the main cast into household names, it also made them very very rich. And not just them, in fact even more than them, it made the co-creators ultra-rich. As a producer, Crane has worked on several other projects, adding to his net worth.
The sitcom, however, made the producers — Crane, Marta, and Kevin Bright, very rich, despite the show actually losing money. Over the 10-year run, the producers received an estimated $70 million in producer fees. But the real money kicked in when the syndication entered the picture. Over the years, Warner Bros. has made some $4.8 billion selling reruns to cable networks and streaming services. As streaming platforms keep acquiring the show’s rights, the cast members and creators continue to enjoy the revenue.
Personal Life and Career
Crane was born in 1957 to a Jewish family in West New York, New Jersey. His parents were Joan Crane and veteran Philadelphia TV personality Gene Crane. He did his high school education at Harriton High School in Pennsylvania. He graduated from there in 1975. Crane then graduated from the Brandeis University in 1979. While in high school, he developed an interest in plays. He went on to study theatre at Brandeis University. Shortly after his graduation, he started working in the television industry. Some of his early TV works included creating and producing the 90s series Dream On. He also contributed to several other projects like Sunday Dinner, Family Album, Couples, and The Powers That Be.
However, the big break came in the form of a collaboration with co-creator and friend Marta Kauffman. The project went on to become arguably the best-known TV sitcom ever — FRIENDS. It premiered on NBC in 1994 and became an unprecedentedly huge hit. The show gained heavy viewership and made the stars and creators very rich. The show made millions and millions during its run and then more after it. It continues to get impressively great viewership on streaming platforms even today. All seasons of the show are currently available on Netflix, which acquired it for a whopping $100 million. After the people really embraced the internet, the show’s popularity skyrocketed even more. It continues to attract the audience that tunes in for the nostalgia and new audiences as well.
David Crane Net Worth
Owing to the massive popularity and success of the sitcom, David Crane has, reportedly, a net worth of $400 million. Along with his long-time friend and co-creator Marta Kauffman, David made big money. He was very involved in the show throughout its entire run, serving as a writer and executive producer. Although he made hundreds of millions from the sitcom itself, he’s worked on other shows too. Along with his life partner Jeffrey Klarik, he has co-created the Emmy nominated BBC show Episodes, also starring Matt LeBlanc. The couple had also created an ensemble sitcom called The Class in 2006. David Crane outdid the earnings of the main cast, who earned fairly hefty themselves.
Add to the money he’s already made from the show, the new acquirement deals and royalties make his net worth even more impressive. Recently the cast and the creators came together for the time since the show ended. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the sitcom, the cast reportedly received $5 million each. We can expect the creators to have earned in the same ballpark, if not more. It just goes to show how much the show has contributed to their wealth. According to Forbes, Crane, and Kauffman, along with Kevin Bright, shared at least $550 million in pre-tax earnings. Suffice it to say, Crane has made an absolute fortune from the show.
All the seasons of FRIENDS are currently available to stream on Netflix.