This has not been a good week for TV reunions that fans have been waiting for. For starters, Connie Britton made a point that there’s zero interest in doing one for the football drama Friday Night Lights, and now Patricia Heaton (fresh off the recently-concluded The Middle), in an interview with Us Weekly, telling us that the same is true about a potential Everybody Loves Raymond reunion.
“I don’t think it’s possible now with Peter [Boyle] and Doris [Roberts] gone,” says Patricia, who is 60. “It just wouldn’t be the same show. It would be nice to do a special retrospective, so maybe [for] the 25th Anniversary CBS will do something. That would be fun!” Given that Everybody Loves Raymond debuted in 1996, we’re only a couple of years from that anniversary!
For anyone interested in how Patricia ended up cast as Debra Barone opposite Ray Ramano’s Ray, she relates to NPR that at the time it came up, she and her husband had two kids and they were pretty much broke. The audition came her way when she heard that the producers were looking for a “Patricia Heaton-type.”
“I had a babysitting conflict,” she explains. “My babysitter was in college, and she needed to get to class. I said, I promise you I’m going to be right back; please just stay. And I ran over there. And I was kind of, you know, frazzled and hassled and, you know, mad at my husband for something. And that all worked perfectly for this part. So I didn’t even have to do anything. So I came in, and there were probably 20 women in the waiting room to read for this part. And I thought, ‘Oh, I’m never going to get back.’ I said, ‘I have a babysitting thing; do you mind if I go in first?’ And they were so gracious and kind, and they let me go in ahead of them. And then I sat there, and I’m kind of ready to read the pages, ’cause I’ve got to get back home. My whole thing was get in and out. It wasn’t even get the job — it was just go in, get out.
“And the director and the producer just kept chatting with me and chatting with me, and I’m answering their questions. They’re asking me where I’m from. I’m looking at my watch, and then they say, ‘Oh, and this is Ray Romano.’ And I was like, ‘Oh well, this show’s not going anywhere.’ I was waiting for Ray to come into the room. I was just going to ask that guy to get me a cup of coffee while we were waiting. And of course, I didn’t know Ray at the time, or know what sort of a genius he is and what a great guy he is. So I finally said, ‘I’m kind of in a time thing; do you mind if we read?’ And they said, ‘Oh, you’ll read? ‘Cause your agent told us you wouldn’t read, that you would just meet.’ There’s a thing where agents think that they’re trying to preserve their clients’ dignity, that they’re not going to have you audition anymore ’cause you’re too much of a star. You just go and you meet them, and then you walk away.
“So I finally said, ‘Yeah, I’ll read.’ No wonder they’ve been just sitting here chatting with me. So I read it really fast. I was like, ‘Come on, let’s do this; I’ve got to go.’ And they were so lovely and the next thing I know, I was being called in to meet the president of CBS at the time, which was Les Moonves, and read for him and got the part.”
Everybody Loves Raymond made its debut on CBS Sept. 13, 1996, and ran until May 16, 2005, producing a total of 210 episodes. Apparently, there will never be a 211th.