Phil Rosenthal, creator and showrunner of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” has pitched a reunion special for the domestic comedy that starred Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton and Brad Garrett, but so far hasn’t found a home for it — despite the recent success of similar offerings, including the “Friends” gathering on HBO Max.
The producer disclosed his hopes for a reunion on “SiriusXM’s Pop Culture Spotlight with Jessica Shaw,” talking about how he has pitched it to “a couple of different places,” but has not had any takers. The interview is set to air Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET on SiriusXM Stars.
“Here’s what I really can’t believe,” Rosenthal said. “We can tell stories of the things that have happened to us at home, and then show a clip of the Raymond episode that that became, 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.”
“Everybody Loves Raymond” aired on CBS for nine seasons from 1996 to 2005, winning 15 Primetime Emmys, and has lived on in syndication on various channels throughout the U.S, U.K. and Australia. Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle and Monica Horan also co-starred in the series, but Horan, who is married to Rosenthal, is the only actor of that trio still alive.
The “Friends” reunion titled, “The One With Everything That Happened on Friends: The Reunion” brought the titular characters back on the screen for a two-hour special on May 17 for HBO Max. Although the reunion was delayed by COVID, it grabbed a lot of attention when it streamed with all six main characters plus guest stars including Lady Gaga.
Jessica Shaw said, “I honestly cannot believe that,” when hearing that there are no current takers for an “Everybody Loves Raymond” special.
“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 want to see the cast together. Again, I think they would like to revisit some of the highlights and outtakes from the show.”
To which Shaw replied, “So you’re telling me that your own network. Well, if you’re saying no one, I feel like they have said they don’t want to see you and Ray and just everyone get together again and talk about 25 years that floors me.”
Besides CBS, other potential homes for a reunion include HBO Max, because the show was produced by a banner called HBO Independent Productions, which was part of Warner Bros. TV. David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production company was also a producer on the series. There was no immediate word from CBS on whether the project has been pitched there.
Rosenthal pointed out that the television business is in fact a business.
“Listen, this is the business we’ve chosen for ourselves. As they say in “The Godfather,” ‘there’s no rhyme or reason to anything.’ If they see money, they go for the money. If they see demographics that they want, they go for that.
“I’m not blaming them,” he continued. “Times are tough for them as well. And 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, 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.”