Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal has been working hard to make a cast reunion special happen, but as of now, no network or streaming service has yet taken him up on the offer. Based on the comedy of Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond aired for nine seasons between 1996-2005. It starred Romano as a sports writer whose intrusive family makes life difficult for Ray and his wife Debra (Patricia Heaton).
We haven’t seen the Barone family since Everybody Loves Raymond ended in 2005, but a reunion special is not out of the question. Speaking about the concept with SiriusXM’s Pop Culture Spotlight with Jessica Shaw, Rosenthal revealed that he’s pitched a Raymond reunion to several different possible homes, but he’s having more trouble than expected with locking down a deal. The good news is that there’s still time and he’s still holding out hope that someone will give him the call. From the interview:
“Here’s what I really can’t believe. I’ve pitched to now a couple of different places. We can do a reunion special, we can tell the stories of the things that have happened to us at home…and it seemed to work for Friends and, no takers… Maybe someone will hear this and say, ‘Hey, this seems like a no brainer.’ I think people like the show, I think they would like to see the cast together.”
Some fans may be surprised that nobody is biting on an Everybody Loves Raymond reunion. As Rosenthal goes on to explain, however, that’s just the nature of the beast that is show business. He’s not exactly shocked that the process of revisiting Raymond hasn’t been easy, though he suggests execs are overlooking the low cost of producing a one-off reunion special as opposed to an actual episode of a TV series.
“This is the business we’ve chosen for ourselves. As they say in The Godfather, there’s no, 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. 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.”
Sadly, a potential cast reunion would have some key names missing, as we’ve lost several cast members since the series ended in 2005. Peter Boyle, who played Ray’s father Frank Barone, passed away the next year at the age of 71. In 2016, Doris Roberts, the actress who co-starred opposite Boyle as Ray’s mother Marie, died at the age of 90. Sawyer Sweeten, the former child star who played Ray’s son Geoffrey Barone, died by suicide in 2015 when he was just 19 years old.
In 2016, Rosenthal revealed details about a planned Everybody Loves Raymond spinoff he had in mind that never got developed. It would have shifted Robert Barone (Brad Garrett) into more of a central role with Ray’s brother moving to Pennsylvania to work as a gym teacher and live with his wife Amy’s (Monica Horan) family, including her brother Peter (Chris Elliot). The deal didn’t end up going through because CBS was only willing to commit to a pilot, which wasn’t enough for Rosenthal and the writers.