The popular 90s sitcom stars Patricia Heaton in the role of Debra Barron
CBS initially wanted to cast a “hotter” actress to play Ray Romano’s wife on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” so the show’s producers say.
While Patricia Heaton eventually starred in the series as Debra, the wife of Ray Barron (Ray Romano), producer Phil Rosenthal claims that the network initially wanted “someone hot to play Debra.”
Episodes of the popular sitcom, which premiered in 1996, are still on-air today. Despite his success, Rosenthal claimed in a new interview Yahoo! entertainment She “almost left” the show because of CBS’s persistence in casting a particular actress for the role.
“He insisted on this actress. I thought she was wrong, but I met her and she was a very pleasant, very nice person. She was not going to read for the role, but during the meeting I asked her to read Convinced. A little bit with me, and she was 10 times worse for the part than I thought she would be!” Rosenthal claimed without naming the actress.
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After that, Rosenthal offered three selections for Debra, including one from CBS’s preference and two other cast members. He said he went to a meeting with CBS executives, including former CEO Leslie Moonves, thinking he would leave it without a job.
“Again, I didn’t have Patty yet; I didn’t even know she existed. I knew that [Moonves] Was about to say, ‘What about such a thing?’ And if I don’t say, ‘Yeah, let’s cast her,’ I won’t have a show. So that was the day I knew I would leave my own show.”
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However, Rosenthal’s suspicions turned out to be false. He offered to perform that he believed “could do better” in casting for the part and that he was on board.
“In other words, [Moonves] Let me slide and we agreed to keep watching! Two weeks later, Patty walked in and within five minutes she had her part. When it’s right, it’s right, and you know it right away,” he said.
Rosenthal didn’t just leave this circle to make the show a success. He revealed that he actually left the gig before filming began when he learned he would be a co-showrunner.
“I thought that person was still going to be in charge, and I wasn’t going to say no to my show. So I left! I told them, ‘I left, bye.’ It wasn’t because I was brave — I was actually wearing my pants because I gave up on something I loved.”
He learned a few days later that he had been named the sole showrunner for the series.
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“I asked him why the sudden change, and he said to me, ‘[Moonves] How did you handle that thing with such a thing.’ It just goes to show you that if you stick to your guns – and maybe give up – they see that you have some honesty. So my advice to the youth is to always leave! I’m not saying quit your first job, or if you depend on it to be able to eat. But if it’s not your first job and it’s your thing, then only you get a chance to show your honesty. I can’t tell you how many shows are ruined by writers taking every note from networks and studios and then the network goes, ‘This isn’t great.’”
“Everybody Loves Raymond” also starred Peter Boyle, Doris Roberts and Brad Garrett.