Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal has a number of ideas for a cast reunion, but finding a home for the special has been harder than expected.
“Here’s what I really can’t believe. I’ve pitched to now a couple of different places,” Rosenthal said on SiriusXM’s Pop Culture Spotlight with Jessica Shaw. “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.”
Everybody Loves Raymond, which ran from 1996 to 2005, follows the family life sportswriter Ray Barone (Ray Romano). The series also featured Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle.
When Shaw responded that she also could not believe Rosenthal’s difficulty in finding a studio to house the special, the showrunner expressed some optimism: “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.”
In the past, new installments of Everybody Loves Raymond haven’t had the most luck. At ATX Television Festival 2016, Rosenthal disclosed that a Raymond spinoff was in the works, and almost landed at CBS. Despite initial enthusiasm from the network, Rosenthal revealed that the spinoff never materialized because CBS did not offer more than the pilot episode.
While a seeming lack of appetite from networks may be surprising, for Rosenthal it’s just showbiz.
“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,” he said.
He continued: “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.”