‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Why Much of the Show’s Cast Stopped Coming to Work

by Megan Molseed

Everybody Loves Raymond pulled audiences in for nearly a decade, finding fame as one of the most popular television shows for multiple years in a row. This popular CBS TV sitcom series features comedian Ray Romano as Ray Barone as he navigates his life as a husband and father while living a little too close to the rest of his family.

Throughout the show’s nine successful seasons, millions of viewers tuned in as they watched the hilarious antics of Romano’s Ray Barone; Barone’s wife, Patricia Heaton’s Debra Barone; Ray’s regularly morose brother, Brad Garrett’s Robert Barone; and his parents, Doris Roberts’ Marie Barone and a Peter Boyle’s Frank Barone. However, many fans can be shocked when they hear that, at one point, almost every single one of the show’s stars protested the sitcom series.

It May Be Titled Everybody Loves Raymond, But Ray Romano Was Not The Only Star In The CBS Series

It makes perfect sense that comedian Ray Romano received top dollar while working on the series. Not only was Romano the star of the show, but he also served as executive producer in the popular series. However, it becomes very clear early on in the show’s run that the rest of the show’s players are also key to the success of Everybody Loves Raymond.

This is a fact that soon became a hot topic behind the scenes of the series. When Brad Garrett learned that Ray Romano was earning around $1.8 million per episode in the popular series, while he was pulling in $160,000 he decided something had to be done.

As a result, the actor stepped away from the series for a few weeks. Hoping this would strong-arm Everybody Loves Raymond showrunners to give the actor a pay raise.

Soon, the rest of the cast followed suit. Holding out for higher compensation per episode to put them on an even playing field with the comedian. Patricia Heaton reportedly called out sick for some time. Representatives speaking for the actress insist Heaton truly was sick. However, showrunners have noted that they do not buy these claims.

It may have been an unconventional approach, however, the tactics employed by the Everybody Loves Raymonds players paid off in the end. Production continued after the show’s stars – other than Romano – received a raise. Additionally, the rest of the cast was then included in the syndication deal. Now, each one of the show’s stars receives a profit from the show’s reruns which continue to air even today.

“It was inevitable,” Ray Romano has said of these issues in a 2003 interview with People.

“When my salary came out in the papers, I knew stuff would happen,” the comedian adds in the interview.

“I’d do exactly the same thing as this cast did,” Romano adds.

“I don’t hold anything against anyone, not the cast or CBS. I’m loyal to both of them,” he says. “I wanted it to get resolved, but I knew it had to play its course.”