Everybody Loves Raymond Was Canceled For A Very Specific Reason, But Fans Are Still Confused Today


Highlights

  • Everybody Loves Raymond ended on top with 210 episodes, avoiding the overstay common in sitcoms for maximum profit.
  • Despite CBS wanting more seasons, the creators knew it was time to wrap up with exhausted storylines for quality.
  • The cast walked out for higher pay before the last season, leading to elevated salaries and successful negotiations.


Everybody Loves Raymond was one of the most successful television sitcoms CBS had ever produced. The show aired from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Despite the rocky start that Raymond had when it first aired, audiences soon tuned in to see the hijinks that Ray Barone and his family were involved in week after week. The love of the show after it was greenlit changed Ray Romano’s life — and the love from audiences continued for nine seasons.

Even though Everybody Loves Raymond was the number one show during its time slot on Monday nights, even going so far as to beat the likes of Monday Night Football, the writers of the show, including Phil Rosenthal and Romano, always knew that they wanted to go out on top when they decided to bring the series to a finale. However, the ninth season was not when audiences anticipated saying goodbye to the Barone family. Even CBS was willing to pay the actors more money if they would stay for a season or two more. But it would not do any good.


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In May 2005, audiences tuned in to watch Everybody Loves Raymond for the last time. Many were left wondering what the truth behind the abrupt cancellation of Everybody Loves Raymond was. But as it turns out, there was no drama and no one trying to make a power move. It was just time for the sitcom to come to an end.


Why ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Was Abruptly Canceled

Everybody Loves Raymond ended because there simply were no more storylines to write

While it seemed to audiences that Everybody Loves Raymond was canceled without warning, what many do not know is that Rosenthal had the desire to cancel the series before Season Eight. However, there was still enough material to make it through another season and keep the quality at a high level. But, when the time came to write Season Nine, Rosenthal recognized that with ideas running out, Everybody Loes Raymond had to wrap up. An abbreviated last season is what audiences received, as there was only guaranteed material for 13 episodes.

“We do pride ourselves in going home, getting in fights with our wives, parents, and kids, and making stories from them. There’s a limit to that,” Rosenthal explained. “If we kept getting in fights with these people, they’ll leave us.”


Everybody Loves Raymond cast members
Via: CBS

Not everyone agreed with Rosenthal, however. This was especially true of the co-COO of Viacom, who owns CBS, Les Moonves. Moonves believed that Raymond could go on for at least one more season.

“I know it could go another season, and I’ve said that to Ray and Phil,” Moonves stated. “They want to leave on top — but I still think they’re leaving a year too early.”

However, no matter how much Moonves tried to convince Rosenthal and Romano, they could not be swayed. From the get-go, the duo had agreed that when one was ready to bring the show to an end, the other would agree.

Because of this, Romano backed Rosenthal and his decision to end the series after Rosenthal believed that the stories to be told on the show had been depleted.


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While it may seem like Everybody Loves Raymond may not have completed as many episodes as other successful sitcoms of the same era, 210 episodes aired before the series concluded.

To put this in perspective, Friends had 236 episodes when it ended. How I Met Your Mother had 208 episodes before the series finale. Home Improvement had 204 episodes and Frasier had 264 episodes.

Raymond is not an outlier when it comes to how many episodes aired. The only difference is that the show went out on top before audiences had an opportunity to get tired of it, something that many sitcoms do not do, preferring to milk the show for as much money as possible instead.

The Cast Of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Was Willing To Quit The Show Before It Was Canceled

The cast was ready to walk from Everybody Loves Raymond before it entered its last season

What was also interesting about Everybody Loves Raymond was that, before reaching the last couple of seasons, the cast was willing to throw in the towel and walk away from the hit series to be paid what they were worth. That figure was based on what Romano was making and how successful Raymond had become over the years.


In 2003, Romano went into negotiations with CBS to increase his paycheck to continue on Everybody Loves Raymond. While CBS had thought that the contract would be hammered out fairly easily, what they were not counting on was that Romano was willing to walk from the show if he did not get what he wanted.

Aafter months of back and forth, Romano went from $800,000 per episode to $1.8 million per episode. This effectively made Romano become the highest-paid sitcom star in the history of television.

Everybody Loves Raymond cast at the Emmy Awards
Via: Instar

With Romano receiving a boost in pay, the other stars of Raymond wanted to be paid more as well. After all, they were being paid a small figure compared to Romano’s newly awarded contract.


Patricia Heaton, who wasn’t the first choice but wound up playing Ray’s wife, Doris Roberts, who played Ray’s mother, Peter Boyle, who played Ray’s father, and Brad Garrett, who played Ray’s brother, all called in sick, or simply walked off the show.

As a result of the cast not returning to set until they received higher pay, the show had no choice but to shut down. This put production behind schedule. However, it got the point across to CBS executives. In the end, the cast got the pay raises they deserved.

Patricia Heaton

First Season Salary: $100,000 per episode

Salary Before Calling In Sick: $250,000 per episode

Salary After Negotiations: $450,000 per episode

Doris Roberts

First Season Salary: $100,000 per episode

Salary Before Calling In Sick: $250,000 per episode

Salary After Negotiations: Unknown small increase

Peter Boyle

First Season Salary: $100,000 per episode

Salary Before Calling In Sick: $250,000 per episode

Salary After Negotiations: Unknown small increase

Brad Garrett

First Season Salary: $100,000 per episode

Salary Before Calling In Sick: $160,000 per episode

Salary After Negotiations: $250,000 per episode

As a result of the cast being willing to walk before CBS wanted Everybody Loves Raymond to come to an end, CBS was able to retain a top-rated show for another couple of seasons and the actors felt they were receiving proper pay for their roles on a hit sitcom.


Phil Rosenthal Never Sold Another Sitcom After ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Ended

Phil Rosenthal did not work on another sitcom after Everybody Loves Raymond ended

Rosenthal has had the Midas touch when it comes to being a showrunner on successful sitcoms. It is because of this that Rosenthal has been able to amass his impressive net worth.

First, it was with Coach and then with Everybody Loves Raymond, Rosenthal knows his business with these types of shows. However, after Raymond came to an end, Rosenthal decided not to work on another sitcom. Instead, he took to producing and hosting the reality shows, I’ll Have What Phil’s Having and Somebody Feed Phil. Reality shows that specifically dealt with trying food from around the world.

Phil Rosenthal smiling and standing on the red carpet
via Instar

When Rosenthal is not busy with his world travels, he produces Everybody Loves Raymond in different languages. This is not putting subtitles on the previously filmed shows. Instead, it is using the same theme that came with Raymond but using cultural norms to make it work for the country in which it is being aired.


The first time that Rosenthal converted Everybody Loves Raymond was in Russia. While it took some time to get the producers in the country and Rosenthal on the same page, they finally did. Raymond, known as The Voronins, became a success.

“At a certain point, you do have to let it go,” Rosenthal explained. “It’s like with your own children: You raise and nurture them as best you can, but then they must be free to go off and disappoint you.”

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Not only has this concept of exporting the show not been disappointing, it has been a success in other countries as well. Most recently, Serbia was the country that picked the show up, and Rosenthal helped to get it up and running. This proved that not only is the concept of Everybody Loves Raymond a continued pop culture success in the US today but overseas to new audiences as well.



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