Reunion-Wise, Creator Phil Rosenthal Says Not Everybody Loves Raymond

Phil Rosenthal, Everybody Loves Raymond creator, has tried multiple times to pitch a reunion special but hasn't had much luck bringing the Barones back to primetime. Have you ever wondered if Ray Barone is still writing about sports for Newsday? Well, apparently neither has anyone else. Most networks gave some reboot or re-imaging of old franchises. Recently Kung Fu, Magnum PI, Hawaii 5-0, Walker, and the upcoming The Wonder Years are testing tread on these well-worn tires. Rosenthal is apparently having a tough time getting anyone to consider doing a reunion special with the likes of Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton. On an upcoming episode of SiriusXM's Pop Culture Spotlight With Jessica Shaw airing Tuesday, Rosenthal told listeners there have been "no takers" for a reunion special of the hit sitcom that aired from 1996 to 2005 on CBS.

everybody loves raymond
Everybody Loves Raymond (Image: Screencap)

"Here's what I really can't believe," Rosenthal told host Shaw. "I've pitched to now a couple of different places. We can do a reunion special. We can tell stories of the things that have happened to us at home, and then show a clip of the Raymond episode, and I think it will be entertaining and funny and you'll get a chance to catch up with the cast as they are now. And it seemed to work for 'Friends' and, uh, no takers. Not yet. Maybe someone will hear this and say, 'Hey, this seems like a no-brainer.' I think people like the show, I think they would like to see the cast together. Again, I think they would like to revisit some of the highlights and outtakes from the show."

"Listen, this is the business we've chosen for ourselves," continued Rosenthal. "As they say in 'The Godfather', there's no, there's no rhyme or reason to anything. If they, if they see money, they go for the money. If they see demographics that they want, they go for that … I'm not singling out any network. There are plenty of entities who have been involved with the show that could do a reunion show and a reunion special, which certainly doesn't cost as much as producing a real episode of a show. It's people sitting in chairs, and then you have clips."

A reunion special, similar to the recent Friends reunion, would be much more challenging to pull off. Five of Everybody Loves Raymond's favorite cast members- Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle, who played Romano's parents; Georgia Engel and Fred Willard, who played the in-laws of Brad Garrett's character; and Sawyer Sweeten, who played one of Ray & Debra's sons, Geoffrey Barone, have unfortunately passed away. Listen to Rosenthal's interview below.

Everybody Loves Raymond won 15 Emmys during its run on CBS, two of those were for Outstanding Comedy. It has been ranked the 60th best all-time series by TV Guide, the eleventh-best sitcom starring a stand-up comedian, and the 35th best sitcom of all time by Rolling Stone, and (alongside South Park) the 63rd best-written television series by the Writers Guild of America. 

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About Jimmy Leszczynski

Jimmy Leszczynski has been blurring the line between comics and reality at SDCC every year since 1994, and was a nerd long before Lewis, Gilbert, and the Tri Lamdas made it cool. Middle aged father of 2 that REFUSES to grow up, lifelong Bat-Fan, and he thinks he's pretty funny.
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