|Everybody Loves Raymond|
|Created by||Philip Rosenthal|
|Opening theme||"Everybody Loves Raymond Theme" (seasons 1–2)|
"Ode to Joy" (seasons 3–5)
"Drunken Sailor" (season 6)
"Jungle Love" by Steve Miller Band (seasons 7–9)
|Ending theme||"Everybody Loves Raymond Theme"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||210 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Audio format||Dolby Surround 2.0|
|Original release||September 13, 1996 –|
May 16, 2005
Everybody Loves Raymond is an American sitcom television series created by Philip Rosenthal that aired on CBS from September 13, 1996, to May 16, 2005, with a total of 210 episodes spanning nine seasons. It was produced by Where's Lunch and Worldwide Pants Incorporated, in association with HBO Independent Productions. The cast members were Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle, Madylin Sweeten, and Monica Horan. Most episodes of the nine-season series were filmed in front of a live studio audience.
The series received positive reviews and has been ranked the 49th all-time funniest television comedy by Complex, the 60th best all-time series by TV Guide, the eleventh-best sitcom starring a stand-up comedian and the 35th best sitcom of all time by Rolling Stone, and (alongside South Park) the 63rd best written television series by the Writers Guild of America. In a Hollywood Reporter poll of all-time television programs surveying 779 actors, 365 producers and 268 directors, Everybody Loves Raymond ranked 96th.
The show is centered on the life of an Italian-American everyman named Raymond Barone, a sportswriter for Newsday living with his family on Long Island. Beleaguered, diffident and dryly sarcastic, Raymond takes few things seriously, making jokes in nearly every situation, no matter how troubling or serious. He often avoids responsibilities around the house and with his kids, leaving this to his wife, Debra.
Raymond and Debra have a daughter Ally (Alexandra) and twin sons Michael and Geoffrey (originally Matthew and Gregory in the pilot). The Barone children are regular characters but not a major focus. Raymond's parents, Marie and Frank, live across the street with their older son Robert (who, later in the series, has his own apartment). All Barone relatives frequently make their presence known to the annoyance of Raymond and Debra. Although she loves them, Debra's justifiable complaints about Raymond's overbearing family serve as one of the show's comedic elements. Out of the three unwanted visitors, Debra is particularly intimidated by Marie, an insulting, controlling, manipulative (though ultimately caring) woman who criticizes Debra passive-aggressively and praises Ray, clearly favoring him over other son "Robbie," whose birth necessitated her marriage (a fact revealed in the episode "Good Girls").
Raymond typically falls in the middle of family arguments, incapable of taking any decisive stand, especially if it might invoke his mother's disapproval. Robert, a miserable gentle giant, jealous of his younger sibling's position as favorite son and also of the success his brother has achieved both professionally and personally, is Ray's biggest rival. Robert and Raymond frequently argue like overgrown children, focusing much of their energy on picking on or one upping each other, although deep down they love each other dearly.
Frank Barone is a fiery retiree prone to directing insults and merciless put-downs at any and all targets. Largely an absentee father when the boys were growing up, Frank buries his feelings and rarely yields to sentiment. As the series progresses, however, several episodes demonstrate that the senior Barone loves his family immensely. Unlike everyone else, Frank has no problem comically criticizing Marie and often comes to Debra's defense whenever Marie comments disparagingly about their daughter-in-law.
Raymond and Debra's marriage is fraught with conflicts. Raymond prefers sports television over discussions with Debra on marital matters. Raymond works full-time, as his father had, leaving most child-rearing responsibilities to his wife; and he is often forced to help around the house. One of the show's recurring elements finds the couple having a long discussion in bed each night before going to sleep.
Main article: List of Everybody Loves Raymond episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||22||September 13, 1996||April 7, 1997||84||7.8|
|2||25||September 22, 1997||May 18, 1998||33||13.3|
|3||26||September 21, 1998||May 24, 1999||10||15.5|
|4||24||September 20, 1999||May 22, 2000||12||17.1|
|5||25||October 2, 2000||May 21, 2001||5||19.1|
|6||24||September 24, 2001||May 20, 2002||4||20.0|
|7||25||September 23, 2002||May 19, 2003||7||18.6|
|8||23||September 22, 2003||May 24, 2004||9||17.4|
|9||16||September 20, 2004||May 16, 2005||9||16.9|
Main article: List of Everybody Loves Raymond characters
In the 1990s, several television shows based on work from stand-up comedians, such as Home Improvement (1991–99) and Roseanne (1988–97), were successful. Ray Romano, a comedian for 12 years by the time Everybody Loves Raymond first aired, was one such comic to get development deals following a five-minute performance on the Late Show with David Letterman (1993–2015) in the middle of 1995. David Letterman executive producer Rob Burnett recalled that "by the end [of the monologue] we already had lawyers lined up to work a deal with him."
In looking for a show-runner, Romano wanted somebody to share his tastes in humor, avoiding those who were into writing "devicey" material. Around a dozen candidates for the show-runner position were considered before Coach writer Philip Rosenthal, who sent a Frasier spec script to Letterman's Worldwide Pants. The company read the spec and sent Rosenthal a tape of Romano asking screenwriters to help him with an upcoming show based on his work; also in the tape, he stated that he had a hard time coming up with new material because of having to raise twin sons, and showcased a "new bit" of him shaking keys while saying "hey." Romano's sense of humor intrigued Rosenthal, reminding him of Bill Cosby's early work.
After viewing the tape, Rosenthal met with Romano in person at Art's Delicatessen & Restaurant on Ventura Boulevard about being a potential show runner. The encounter consisted of Romano and Rosenthal each discussing their families. Romano told Rosenthal he wanted to do a series about a comedian discussing current issues with friends at a coffee shop, but Rosenthal responded that kind of sitcom already existed and was a hit. Rosenthal, intrigued by Romano's crazy family fables and wanting to work around his lack of previous acting experience, then stated it would be most "comfortable" for Romano to have the Raymond character be very close to his real personality and in family circumstances reflective of Romano's home life. Although Romano has a brother named Robert in real life, he based the Robert in Raymond on another one of his brothers, Richard. Rosenthal also incorporated his own family experiences into the show, with his mother and wife serving as the basis for Marie and Debra respectively.
Most aspects of Romano's real life are replicated in the series, except for its setting of Long Island instead of Queens; Romano and the writers initially wanted the show to be set in Queens, but CBS executives ultimately chose Long Island due to its broad appeal, as it was a suburb with urban elements. Previous prime-time television series set in Long Island, such as The Hamptons (1983) and The Pruitts of Southampton (1966–67), never went beyond one season. Romano also explained, "There's a lot more kissing on the show than in real life;" and his wife Anna continued, "and they talk a lot more in the show than we ever do at home." The title Everybody Loves Raymond originated from a response Romano's brother Richard made after Ray won a CableACE stand-up award: "I had a day where people were shooting at me, and you're bringing home trophies. Everybody loves Raymond, don't they?" In the show's pilot, Robert states "Everybody loves Raymond."
Rosenthal pitched the show to CBS president Les Moonves, CBS comedy vice president David Himelfarb, CBS comedy development executive Wendi Goldstein, and CBS comedy and drama development head Gene Stein. He kept the pitch very simple: "it's [Romano] and his family, and his parents live across the street with his brother." CBS was lukewarm towards the show's low concept, but found it enough of a low-risk investment for the series to be green-lit. Letterman's involvement with Raymond amounted to nothing more than a meeting where he signed Rosenthal's show-runner contract and told him, "just don't embarrass us."
For the non-titular lead roles of Everybody Loves Raymond, casting director Lisa Miller chose actors with previous professional experience in acting, such as Patricia Heaton and Brad Garrett, who made several appearances in sitcoms before; and Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle, both film actors. Everybody Loves Raymond was Heaton's fourth lead role in a sitcom after the short-lived Room for Two (1992–1993), Some Like Me (1994), and Women of the House (1995). When she read the pilot script during pilot season, she thought it was "beautifully written" although found the character of Debra uninteresting. Miller explained that she had to "Taft-Hartley" Romano, who didn't have much acting experience before Everybody Loves Raymond, in order to get around legal Screen Actors Guild requirements to star in the show. He also needed trainers to make sure he performed the character of a likable protagonist well.
Garrett was the first actor to be cast after Romano, as well as the only actor to audition without Romano in the room. Garrett explained that while CBS initially wanted a small, Danny DeVito-esque character who had a "bulldog" attitude towards Raymond, he, a much taller actor, portrayed Robert as more "beaten-down" and "succumb to the fact that he's a loser" when auditioning.
For the auditions of Heaton, Boyle, and Roberts, they were in the moods of the characters in the scenes they performed, and their auditions were very quick. Heaton was in the middle of getting-by doing babysitting work and clipping coupons when auditioning, making her very stressed. Miller chose Heaton for the role of Debra for being "very focused, real, like Helen Hunt in Mad About You." Boyle, an actor recommended for Frank by Moonves, had a troublesome time getting to his audition location due to schedule changes and poor directions, which made him very grumpy and "in character" when he arrived. Rosenthal admitted to casting Boyle "out of fear" in response to Boyle's bitter attitude. Roberts was called by the casting team for the role of Marie after going through more than 100 actresses. She was initially reluctant to audition due to being busy with directing a 23-character play, but her agents insisted she had time; an "overwhelmed" Roberts did zero preparation, which was unusual for her, and performed her audition from her "gut reaction."
Each episode was created in a workweek that consisted of actors reading through and rehearsing the script on Monday, actors rehearsing and the writers tweaking the script on Tuesday, CBS running through what the actors rehearsed on Wednesday, camera blocking on Thursday, and filming on Friday. A typical writing session started with each of the writers discussing their lives, which served as the basis for episode scripts; as Rosenthal summarized the process, "talking, talking, talking and then all of a sudden, that's a story." Will MacKenzie, who directed for Everybody Loves Raymond on the second, third, and fourth seasons, recalled the writers being so efficient that thirteen episode scripts were completed by the time a season began airing. When shooting episodes, Rosenthal was very stern about the actors sticking to the script and avoiding ad libing, although "alternative" lines were put in the script for some episodes.
Garrett compared acting in episodes of Raymond to the improvisational methods used by the cast in Seinfeld (1989–98). Garrett had appeared in a Seinfeld episode, playing an obsessed car mechanic that steals Jerry Seinfeld's car.
The house used for exterior shots of Ray and Debra's home is located at 135 Margaret Boulevard in Merrick, New York and was worth $500,000 as of August 2018; as in the show, it is located across the street from the home used for exteriors of Frank and Marie's house (house number 136).
For Everybody Loves Raymond, Rosenthal went for a classic sitcom style a la The Honeymooners (1955–56), avoiding references to current culture in order to give it a timeless quality. Explained Jeremy Stevens, the show differed from most sitcoms of its time for its focus on storytelling and reflection on most people's real lives.
Julie Pernworth, a comedy development president at CBS, categorized Everybody Loves Raymond as "one of the most traditional sitcoms to come along in a long time." As Rosenthal put it, Raymond was a "sophisticated" version of a family sitcom, which was emphasized via the show's piano-heavy background music and the use of The New Yorker typeface for credits. In composing the show's theme, Terry Trotter and Rick Marotta used the first few measures of a song from Woody Allen's film Manhattan (1979) and improvised the rest of the piece. Episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond are emotionally dynamic presentations of otherwise prosaic premises typical for traditional sitcoms.
SUNY Press' book The Sitcom Reader (2016) analyzed Raymond was part of a trend in 1990s television of family sitcoms geared towards older audiences, which resulted in the scripts not focusing so much on the child characters and being entirely about grown-ups bickering at each other. While the second season was in production, Romano expressed the challenge of having to write "weird" adult humor within "parameters" of a show about a family: "I want to write a show where I have anxiety attacks, and we're all very concerned about that. Can the star of the show be a father who has anxiety attacks and flips out? Will that sit well with people?" This involved trying to keep the presence of the child characters as little as possible: "To be upstaged by toddlers? I get enough of that at home." As Romano described the stand-up material the show is based on upon the show's first season airing, "I don't want to be a spokesman for family values, but that's the way my standup is perceived. My character is a father who loves his family but who would also love a little freedom." Explained TV critic Jones Ostrow, Raymond "explored the tortuous/loving relationships of parents and adult children, of couples, of siblings and the Peter Pan syndrome that attaches to baby boomer males, sports nuts in particular."
Kevin James was an actor and writer on Everybody Loves Raymond. Once James got his own show, The King of Queens, the two shows crossed over.
The first crossover happened on The King of Queens. In it, Ray Barone and Doug Heffernan become friends. Later on the same night, Kevin James showed up on Everybody Loves Raymond as Doug Heffernan. The shows crossed over several more times.
Ray Romano also turned up in an episode of The Nanny: when that show's Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) attends her high school reunion, one of her classmates is revealed to be Ray Barone. (Romano and Drescher were real-life classmates at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens in the 1970s.)
In 2009, series creator/producer Philip Rosenthal traveled to Russia to adapt the show for local audiences. His experience was documented by a film crew and released as the documentary feature Exporting Raymond. The Russian version is titled (in Russian) Воронины (Voronin's Family, a Russian surname sounding similar to the family's name, The Barones).
The show was adapted in Poland under the title Wszyscy kochają Romana (Everybody Loves Roman). It was picked up by TVN and premiered on September 2, 2011. However, due to low ratings (fewer than 2 million viewers a week), the station put the show on hiatus after four episodes.
In Egypt, a sitcom called El Bab Fil Bab (الباب في الباب ), which means "Close Doors" in Arabic, is produced by Sony Pictures Television, translating Everybody Loves Raymond with minor changes to adapt the Eastern Culture. The first season aired in the month of Ramadan 2011; second season in 2012.
A Dutch remake called Iedereen is gek op Jack (Everybody is crazy about Jack) premiered in February 2011. The second season started airing in March 2012 and ended in May 2012.
An Israeli remake called "Mishpacah Lo Bochrim" (משפחה לא בוחרים) (You Can't Choose Your Family) premiered in October 2012, and was cancelled after 10 episodes aired.
A pilot for a British remake, titled The Smiths, has been commissioned to be produced for BBC One and was filmed in May 2013 at Elstree Studios. Lee Mack wrote and starred in the pilot, as Michael Smith. The pilot also starred Catherine Tate, Tom Davis, Gwen Taylor and David Troughton.
An Indian remake, titled "Sumit Sambhal Lega" ("सुमित संभाल लेगा" – "Sumit Will Handle Everything"), premiered on August 31, 2015, on STAR Plus.
A Czech remake called "Rudyho Má Každý Rád" (Everybody Loves Rudy) premiered on ČT1 on August 31, 2015, comprising 12 episodes.
On December 20, 1998, two Tribune Broadcasting channels, WPIX New York and KTLA Los Angeles, bought rights for syndication of Everybody Loves Raymond from Eyemark Entertainment; Variety reported Eyemark receiving a license fee of $90,000 to $100,000 per week and barter advertising of one-and-a-half minutes. Although Eyemark planned for the two channels to start the re-runs in fall 2000, it moved the date to fall 2001 to avoid competition with other sitcoms beginning off-network runs in 2000. The deal allowed the two channels to re-run the show for four-and-a-half years. On January 26, 1999, the cable channel TBS paid Everybody Loves Raymond distributor Eyemark Entertainment for four years of syndication rights of the show starting in the fall of 2004.
The show reruns in syndication on various channels, such as TBS and TV Land, and in most television markets on local stations. The show is still broadcast regularly in the UK. From 2000 to 2007, King World distributed the show for off-network syndication and Warner Bros. International Television handled international distribution. In 2007, CBS Television Distribution took over King World's distribution. CBS only owns American syndication rights; ancillary rights are controlled by HBO and Warner Bros. Television (WBIT distributes the series outside the US in conjunction with HBO; while HBO Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video own DVD rights worldwide). The show aired every morning as a double bill on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, as part of its Breakfast line up from 08:00-09:00.
Everybody Loves Raymond also airs on Comedy Central in the U.K. and in Australia on Seven Network (seasons 1-mid-2), on Network 10 (late-season 2–9), on 10 Peach (a sub-channel of Network 10), on 9Go! ( a sub-channel of Nine Network) and on Foxtel's Pay TV network TVH!TS previously called TV1 (formerly aired on FOX Classics). The show reruns in India on the channel Romedy Now.
HBO released the Complete Series of Everybody Loves Raymond on DVD in Regions 1, 2, and 4. Region 4 Complete Box Set was released on August 13, 2008. In Australia, the first five seasons were re-released in 2006 in slimmer packaging (originals were wide spine cases). Also, some were released with a cardboard slip cover. In North America the DVDs were repackaged between 2009 and 2012 in standard sized DVD packaging. All episodes were available on Netflix for streaming until September 1, 2016, also the date Exporting Raymond was taken off the platform. Also on September 14, 2004, The Complete 1st Season was released on VHS. The sixth-season DVD set contained the episode "Marie's Sculpture", which previously had not aired in the United Kingdom and was not released until almost five years after the end of the 6th season.
|DVD name||Ep #||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|The Complete 1st Season||22||September 14, 2004||January 17, 2005||December 16, 2004|
|The Complete 2nd Season||25||December 14, 2004||July 4, 2005||April 27, 2005|
|The Complete 3rd Season||26||May 3, 2005||January 16, 2006||July 12, 2005|
|The Complete 4th Season||24||September 13, 2005||May 1, 2006||April 5, 2006|
|The Complete 5th Season||25||December 6, 2005||July 3, 2006||July 5, 2006|
|Holidays with the Barones||3||December 10, 2005|
|The Complete 6th Season||24||May 9, 2006||October 2, 2006||October 4, 2006|
|The Complete 7th Season||25||September 19, 2006||January 15, 2007||April 4, 2007|
|The Complete 8th Season||23||May 8, 2007||July 16, 2007||October 3, 2007|
|The Complete 9th Season||16||September 18, 2007||November 12, 2007||October 3, 2007|
|The Complete Series||210||October 30, 2007||September 5, 2011||August 13, 2008|
Until 2016, the series was available on Netflix in the United States. The series joined Peacock's Premium tier on July 15, 2020. The series also joined Paramount+ in January 2023.
Los Angeles Daily News critic David Kronke praised Raymond for being "the quintessentially honest sitcom. It's neither too hokey nor too crass. It depicts families as dissolute yet inextricably bound together, just like they really are, and finds the humor in those real frictions that threaten, yet never manage, to burst family units apart. Its characterizations are among the most finely defined on TV. Debra, with her vaguely no-nonsense disgust of Raymond's simpleton-ness, is unlike any sitcom mom ever. Doris Roberts' Marie had a sinister streak long before Nancy Marchand's Livia showed up on The Sopranos. Raymond is also one of the few contemporary sitcoms that has figured out how to implement and even exploit the four-camera, live-audience situation, which is no simple feat."
A 1997 review by Bruce Fretts, which gave the show the same score, said that the show "may now be the best sitcom on the air." Common Sense Media's Betsy Wallace, who awarded the show four out of five stars, wrote: "the cast is stellar and plotlines shed light on universal human insecurities, such as doubting that your spouse still finds you attractive as you grow older." Plugged In said in their review, "Seven years and a mantle full of Emmys later, Raymond is still smartly scripted, now with new characters added to a maturing, expanding family."
Reviews named Garrett the show's "secret weapon" and responsible for "the bulk of the show's comic high points."
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Everybody Loves Raymond
During its nine seasons, Everybody Loves Raymond was nominated for 69 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 15 of them, including 10 for acting. The series was also nominated for 21 Screen Actors Guild Awards (1 win) and won the Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy for "Italy" in 2002.
The series finale scored a 20.2/29 rating/share, 32.94 million viewers and an 11.2/26 rating/share among adults 18–49. At 8pm, Everybody Loves Raymond: The Last Laugh scored a 15.3/24 rating/share, 24.52 million viewers and a 7.5/21 rating/share among adults 18–49. Throughout the latter six seasons of the show, Everybody Loves Raymond maintained its position on the top ten rankings.
The highest average rating for the series is in italic text.
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (EST)||Season premiere||Season finale||TV season||Rank||Rating|
|1||22||Friday 8:30 p.m.
(September 13, 1996 – February 28, 1997)
Monday 8:30 p.m.
(March 3, 1997 – April 7, 1997)
|September 13, 1996||April 7, 1997||1996-97||#84||7.8|
|2||25||Monday 8:30 p.m.||September 22, 1997||May 18, 1998||1997-98||#33||13.3|
|3||26||Monday 9:00 p.m.||September 21, 1998||May 24, 1999||1998-99||#10||15.5|
|4||24||September 20, 1999||May 22, 2000||1999-2000||#12||17.1|
|5||25||October 2, 2000||May 21, 2001||2000-01||#5||19.1|
|6||24||September 24, 2001||May 13, 2002||2001-02||#4||20.0|
|7||25||September 23, 2002||May 19, 2003||2002-03||#7||18.6|
|8||23||September 22, 2003||May 24, 2004||2003-04||#9||17.4|
|9||16||September 20, 2004||May 16, 2005||2004-05||#9||16.9|