It's somewhat surprising that it's been over ten years since Everybody Loves Raymond aired its Season 9 finale, considering how many repeats I still see showing up across the daily TV schedule. If creator Philip Rosenthal had his way, though, we'd have been watching even more family comedy from at least some of these characters. A spinoff was conceived and while CBS would have been willing to get a pilot out of it, Rosenthal wouldn't settle for that. Here's how he put it.
I said, 'Les, we need a guarantee because all these writers are getting these deals. They can't just chuck this money to do a pilot.' They said, 'We won't give you more than that.'
And so, because CBS execs apparently didn't have enough faith in an Everybody Loves Raymond spinoff to order up a set number of episodes, we never again got to watch Ray and Robert waxing poetic with Marie outside of afternoon blocks on TBS.
It sounds like it would have been a solid new series, too. The spinoff, whose title was not revealed, would have centered on Robert and Amy going to live with her family in Pennsylvania, where he would work as a gym teacher with dependable old Chris Elliott as his teacher's assistant. (Elliot played Amy's brother Peter, and more of that guy on TV is never a bad thing.) And who can say no to more Robert and Amy?
Philip Rosenthal explained to Variety that the concept first came about as soon as the family was introduced in Season 7. The always hilarious Fred Willard and Georgia Engel were pitch perfect as Amy's parents, and they would have definitely rivaled Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle in the heads of house department.
As you might imagine, Rosenthal doesn't sound like he's completely gotten past CBS' decision to limit what would have likely been a ratings hit to just a pilot. Though he didn't give a name, Rosenthal did throw the network under the bus for its choice with another show.
They did give 13 episodes to a cast that was under 30 --- they were all in their 20s. This cast, everyone was over 40. So that's what happened to that spinoff.
In case you wondered, Rosenthal said that other show was cancelled after a few episodes. Meanwhile, Brad Garrett would still be lighting up the screen for that spinoff, I'd bet.
We all know that CBS can be pretty shady when it comes to cancellations and letting shows know what's up, so this somehow isn't that surprising. In the meantime, you can currently find episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond playing just about anywhere.