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Inside Move: Garrett eyes bigger ‘Ray’ payday

It's unclear how much of a rise thesp seeks

“Everybody Loves Raymond” star Brad Garrett is looking for a little more love from CBS — and he may not be the only one.

Thesp, under contract for the upcoming eighth season of the hit Ray Romano starrer, has had his reps approach the Eye and co-producers HBO Independent Prods. and Worldwide Pants about reopening his deal in the hopes of securing more coin. Move comes a few weeks before “Raymond” resumes production next month — and in the wake of CBS chairman/CEO Leslie Moonves’ comments that the net has considered a spinoff skein feature Garrett’s character of Robert Barone (Daily Variety, July 21).

Just how much Garrett is seeking isn’t clear — conversations have just begun — but he’ll likely be looking for a significant hike. Earlier this year, thesp retained high-profile attorney Michael Gendler to represent him — a sure sign he’s not kidding around, considering Gendler’s made megabuck deals for the likes of David E. Kelley.

It’s also well known Garrett’s old deal, made a few years ago before his current rep team of Gendler and ICM came onboard, pays him much less than some of his fellow “Raymond” co-stars, including Patricia Heaton. Indeed, Garrett has reopened his deal a couple times since “Raymond” bowed.

In past seasons, there had been rumblings Garrett might not show up for work after summer break. So far, however, industry insiders believe the situation has not reached a crisis.

Garrett’s move may just be the first of several potential headaches for CBS, HIP and Worldwide Pants.

Romano and series exec producer Phil Rosenthal have made it clear a ninth season of the show is unlikely. That has Heaton and co-stars Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts understandably nervous, since all have deals that give them substantial pay hikes for that ninth season.

Garrett, who is also repped by Raw Talent, is only under contract for season eight, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Heaton, Roberts and Boyle started pressuring CBS for some sort of assurances of extra coin in the event that the ninth season doesn’t happen.

Unlike Romano and Rosenthal — and, for that matter the casts of such hit shows as “Friends” — the other actors don’t have any piece of “Raymond’s” considerable backend pie. As a result, Garrett, Heaton, Roberts and Boyle have the most to lose if this ends up being the show’s final year.

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