‘Living Single’ Star Says ‘Friends’ Was a Copycat but Their Actors Earned Millions of Dollars More

Living Single is one of the most popular television shows of the 90s. The show started the trend of chronicling the lives of 20-somethings and their friends living life in the big city. Despite Living Single paving the way for shows like Friends, TC Carson says the rival cast earned more than him and his co-stars.

TC Carson says ‘Friends’ is a replica of ‘Living Single’

In an April 2020 interview YouTube’s Comedy Hype, the host and Carson began a discussion regarding Living Single being the original formula for shows centering around friendships. “Well David Schwimmer didn’t know,” Carson joked, in response to Schwimmer’s comments on the necessity for an “all-Black version of Friends.” 

Carson explains he was proud of there being a conversation on the need for diversity, despite Schwimmer misspeaking. The actor notes, “We did this, we’ve been here,” he said. 

Related: Why Terrence C. Carson Left ‘Living Single’

He continued:

“We’re working in a business that is built on our backs, but doesn’t respect the person necessarily that it’s built upon…There would be no FOX without all the Black shows they had on before that they let go…there would be no FOX. There would be no CW.  When you point fingers, there are three fingers point back at yourself – so yes that is what it is but what are we doing, how are we moving the needle?”

Living Single and Friends debuted in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Living Single lasted for five seasons while Friends lasted for 10.

TC Carson says ‘Friends’ cast made $1 million per episode

Carson recently sat down for an interview with Vlad TV and doubles down on Friends being a copycat version of Living Single.

‘The show was a hit in the beginning when it first came out, that’s why they [Friends] cloned it,” Carson jokes. 

Carson says that as Friends began to take off, the Living Single cast took notice of the difference in how they were treated.

Related: A ‘Living Single Reboot’ May Be in the Works

“We were the B team, we were on the B lot so there were things that were less than and we fought for that,” he says. “We fought for our characters, we fought for writing for our characters, we fought for situations.”

TC Carson was fired from ‘Living Single’

Initially, Carson says his concerns and suggestions were considered by the writers and producers of the show. But, things began to change. By the end of season 4, he was called into a meeting with executives to discuss cast complaints.

“The last season before I left, they called me in and they basically said well, ‘All these problems that we’ve been having, they [the cast] listen to you, you’re the person they listen to,’” he explained. “‘So if you said something else, then they would do that.”

Carson admits his professional reputation took a hit as a result of him behind labeled difficult. He even says he exited an audition early once he realized a casting director has a negative perception of him.

Despite Living Single coming first, Carson says the cast of Friends had preferential treatment, even in terms of pay. “

Friends worked on the big lot so they got access to all of the amenities that were on the big lot,” he explains. “At the end of it, they were making $1 million an episode, or something like that. We didn’t approach, at least I never approached any of those numbers. They had better services, they had better Craft services, they had better trailers.”

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