Ray Romano: Cliff Lipson/CBS
September 30, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Everybody Loves Raymond

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
Peter Boyle, Brad Garrett, Patricia Heaton, Doris Roberts, Ray Romano, Monica Horan, Madylin Sweeten, Sawyer Sweeten, Sullivan Sweeten
guest performer
Marv Albert, Robert Culp, Ja'Net DuBois, Charles Durning, Julie Hagerty, Katherine Helmond, Kevin James, Tommy Lasorda, Paul Reubens, Jean Stapleton
Phil Rosenthal

Hey, Ray Romano: Your six-year-old sitcom, ”Everybody Loves Raymond,” is a huge hit, it’s a cornerstone of the CBS schedule, and you just won your first Emmy. What are you going to do now? Why, talk about pulling the plug, of course. In the current issue of TV Guide, he said of the upcoming season of ”Raymond,” ”It could be one more after this. You don’t want to leave when you’re sliding down.” He said he certainly did not see the show lasting a 10th season; in fact, he said, “I don’t even see nine.”

Now that the series is so popular, Romano apparently worries that it’s jumped the shark. ”In the beginning, people didn’t know us and they never laughed,” he said. ”Then there was a middle period where they laughed at what they thought was funny. Now it’s totally gone the other way — they’re laughing way too much.” Audiences are so devoted, he said, that ”we could stand on stage naked and say nothing and people would think it’s funny. Well, that would be pretty funny, actually.”

Romano’s comments echo those made two months ago by the show’s creator, Phil Rosenthal, who told Variety, ”When it’s over, it’s over. You don’t want to get repetitive, and I’ve never seen a show get better after seven seasons” CBS’ contracts with Romano and the producers run out in May, but Rosenthal said, ”The decision won’t be made over money.”

When ”Raymond” does sign off, Romano says he may return to stand-up comedy or make more movies. He did voice work in the animated ”Ice Age,” one of this year’s top-grossing films, and he plans to shoot his first live-action comedy, ”Action Abramowitz,” next spring. One thing’s for sure, he told TV Guide: ”You definitely won’t find me sitting around eating Oreos.”

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