“Everybody Loves Raymond” is one of television’s most successful sitcoms of all time, so why wasn’t there ever a spinoff?
Creator Philip Rosenthal says that he wanted one — so much so that he pitched another show.
“We had an idea,” Rosenthal said Friday at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, on a panel titled “The New American TV Family,” moderated by Variety‘s Debra Birnbaum.
The spinoff would have revolved around Robert (Brad Garrett) going to live with Amy’s (Monica Horan) family in Pennsylvania, working as a gym teacher with Peter (Chris Elliott) as his teacher’s assistant.
“From the moment we introduced Amy’s family … that first table read when we met them, I think in Season 7, I went from the table read to the phone to talk to Les Moonves at CBS,” Rosenthal shared. “And then after the show was over, some of the writers and I thought this is an obvious idea — very simply, the brother now moves to Pennsylvania and he gets a job as the gym teacher, now living with her family, under the condition that has Chris Elliot as his assistant.”
Asked why the spinoff never went to series, Rosenthal said that CBS wouldn’t offer more than a pilot episode.
“I said, ‘Les, we need a guarantee because all these writers are getting these deals. They can’t just chuck this money to do a pilot.’ They said, ‘We won’t give you more than that.'”
Without mentioning the title of the show, Rosenthal said that while the spinoff was only offered a pilot, another sitcom was given a straight-to-series order. “They did give 13 episodes to a cast that was under 30 — they were all in their 20s. This cast, everyone was over 40. So that’s what happened to that spinoff.”
And what happened that other 13-episode sitcom?
“Dead after three episodes,” Rosenthal gleefully said.
Rosenthal spoke on the ATX panel with panelists Nahnatchka Khan, David Windsor, Norman Lear and Hollis Rich.