Following a successful nine years on the air, the hit television comedy “Everybody Loves Raymond” will come to an end on May 16. Starring stand-up comedian Ray Romano, the series portrays the life of Raymond “Ray” Barone, a successful sports writer, and his wife Deborah (Patricia Heaton). Unfortunately for the Barones, Raymondʼs meddling parents, Frank (Peter Boyle), Marie (Doris Roberts) and brother Robert (Brad Garrett) live too close for comfort. The pilot episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” made its debut in 1996 on CBS. According to wikipedia. org, the series originally held the traditionally unpopular Friday night time slot. However, as CBS found the show to be quite promising, they moved it to Monday nights, where it gained an enormous amount of success. In fact, for the first couple of years, “Everybody Loves Raymond” held steadfast to its place in the top five ratings. Even today, the sitcom continues to hold the highest ratings in comedy television.
“Everybody Loves Raymond” won its first Emmy Award for Best Comedy in 1999, and Romano himself has won several others for his acting. Some of Romanoʼs awards include the Golden Globe award for “Best Performance In A Comedy Series” in 2000, the Screen Actorsʼ Guild Award, and the Peopleʼs Choice “Favorite Male TV Performer” (2000, 2001, 2003) award. Many of the other supporting cast members have also won Emmy awards for their performances.
As with many things in life, the series ran into a bit of turbulence along the way. According to Entertainment Online, Garrett fought a salary dispute with CBS prior to the showʼs eighth season. During this controversy, Garrett went on a 10-day strike until matters were settled. He eventually returned to the set, and the series continued as successfully as it had before.
On April 14 at 4 p.m., fans of the series were able to catch a glimpse of the Raymond cast on the “Oprah Show.” Clips of the cast interviews may be seen on Oprahʼs Web site as well (www. oprah.com).
After the final episode appears this summer, there is no doubt that “Everybody Loves Raymond” will be missed. However, as with many famous sitcoms, there will most likely be re-runs, and fans may also purchase the first three seasons on DVD. For now, continue to enjoy what is left of the popular sitcom, and prepare yourselves for Raymondʼs last hurrah.