‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Holy Crap, It’s Been 16 Years Since the Classic Comedy’s Series Finale
Now considered a classic comedy series, Everybody Loves Raymond is marking its 16th year since saying farewell after nine seasons on CBS.
The show about the intensely dysfunctional Barone family of Long Island, New York, debuted in 1996. It boasted the sublime cast of Ray Romano as title character Ray Barone, Patricia Heaton as his wife Debra, Brad Garrett as Ray’s brother Robert, Monica Horan as his wife Amy, Doris Roberts as family matriarch Marie Barone, and Peter Boyle as her ever-heckling husband Frank.
Heaton tweeted this week in disbelief about the emotional anniversary.
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’s executive producer on the show’s finale
In 1996 Phil Rosenthal, a writer who had worked on the comedy series Coach, was extended the offer of creating a sitcom from scratch. It would be a series for stand-up comic Ray Romano, who had just made a name for himself on David Letterman’s late night show.
He spoke with the Television Academy Foundation about how, going into the show’s eighth season, he knew it was time to end the comedy.
“I had a finale story in my head,” Rosenthal said. “I wrote it out even and knew this was going to be the end of season 8. Around that same time, everyone was clamoring for us to stay more.”
For his part, Rosenthal didn’t think there was “any gas left” for a ninth season but he was open to the possibility. The ninth season happened but not without the showrunner wrestling about whether the show could create scripts fresh enough to survive another season.
“Meaning, we did 200 shows, it’s enough!,” he said. “How many fights can these people get into? We should, you know, maybe have another family and let them fight, you know? You don’t want to repeat and you don’t want to do bad shows. That’s really the driving force behind why we stopped.”
Heaton took a look back at the last show
On Twitter this week, Heaton observed the 16th year since the hit comedy’s emotional finale.
“May 16, 2005,” she began. “It’s been 16 years since the finale of #EverybodyLovesRaymond. No matter how much time passes, this show will always be a source of comfort & joy for so many around the world. Thank you to everyone that played a part in making this sitcom a masterpiece. Thank you.”
In her conversation with the Television Academy Foundation, Heaton said of that last episode, “Everyone pretty much felt like it was time to wrap it up. But still, we’d been together for nine years and we loved these characters, so it was very stressful.”
Heaton was ‘weepy’ before the final episode
The Debra Barone actor revealed that she was “very weepy, weepy, weepy” leading up to the finale.
“Then, I lost my voice,” Heaton said. “And people had flown in from New York, all of Ray’s family, everybody’s families were there, they had gotten hotels, James Lipton from The Actor’s Studio was there. I mean, it was huge, there were parties.”
Because Heaton lost her voice, the cast wasn’t able to do the finale on its intended date and she “felt horrible.” In the end, though, the cast filmed its final episode just “with our little group, like the way we started and it felt really right.”