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Heaton stays wed to Eye’s ‘Raymond’

Cast member close to landing rich deal

Everybody Loves Patricia, too.

Emmy winner Patricia Heaton is close to sealing a rich deal that will pay her at least $250,000 per episode to continue for two more seasons on hit CBS sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Heaton is the latest “Raymond” cast member to negotiate a pay bump in advance of the show’s sixth season. Series star Ray Romano signed a pact worth roughly $800,000 per episode earlier this summer ( Daily Variety, June 26).

As in Romano’s deal, Heaton will receive retroactive pay for seasons four and five of “Raymond” from producers HBO Independent Prods. and Worldwide Pants. The actress will also receive a salary bump in season seven.

Heaton had been expected to enjoy a nice raise at the renegotiation table after landing her third Emmy nomination for outstanding comedy actress.

Heaton won the trophy last year for her portrayal of Debra Barone — the show’s only Emmy win (out of 23 nominations) to date.

Prior to her new deal, insiders believe that Heaton had been pulling between $75,000 and $90,000 an episode. Factoring in retroactive pay and later bumps, Heaton’s total four-year intake could now land between $20 million and $25 million.

“Raymond” remains one of CBS’ primetime crown jewels. The net picked up the show last winter for an additional two years — through the 2002-03 TV season — at a pricetag of around $140 million.

Show continues to grow, averaging 19.1 million viewers during the 2000-01 season, vs. 17.1 million the year before. “Raymond” regularly dominates its time period in most ratings measurements.

Heaton, who’s repped by UTA, joined “Everybody Loves Raymond” when the show debuted in 1996. She previously co-starred on the short-lived CBS laffer “Women of the House” and had recurring roles on “Party of Five” and “thirtysomething.”

Heaton will star opposite Peter Falk in this season’s Eye telepic “A Town Without Christmas.” Thesp’s film credits include “Space Jam” and “Beethoven.” Heaton also runs FourBoys Films with husband David Hunt.

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