Everybody Loves Raymond, but not everybody loves a family reunion: series creator Phil Rosenthal says there are "no takers" for a reunion special. The beloved sitcom, which aired 210 episodes between 1996 and 2005 on CBS, would follow iconic series like Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as the latest show to assemble its surviving cast members for a look back at a production more than 15 years after it went off the air. Speaking to SiriusXM's Pop Culture Spotlight With Jessica Shaw (via Entertainment Weekly), Rosenthal explains why the Barone family isn't getting back together anytime soon:
"Here's what I really can't believe. I've pitched to now a couple of different places," Rosenthal said. "We can do a reunion special. We can tell stories of the things that have happened to us at home, and then show a clip of the Raymond episode, and I think it will be entertaining and funny, and you'll get a chance to catch up with the cast as they are now."
Rosenthal added: "And it seemed to work for Friends and, uh, no takers. Not yet. 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. Again, I think they would like to revisit some of the highlights and outtakes from the show."
Like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion and Friends: The Reunion, both hour-plus unscripted reunion specials produced and aired on the HBO Max streaming service, an Everybody Loves Raymond reunion would bring together the cast once more for a get-together and retrospective.
"Listen, this is the business we've chosen for ourselves. As they say in The Godfather, there's no rhyme or reason to anything," Rosenthal said. "If they see money, they go for the money. If they see demographics that they want, they go for that ... 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, which certainly doesn't cost as much as producing a real episode of a show. It's people sitting in chairs, and then you have clips."
Rosenthal produced Raymond via his Where's Lunch banner alongside series star Ray Romano, who played family man and sports writer Ray Barone, and David Letterman through his Worldwide Pants production company. HBO Independent Productions, a now-defunct arm of Time Warner's HBO, also produced the series.
In October, Romano and series stars Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Monica Horan, and Rosenthal virtually reunited to honor late co-star Peter Boyle with a cast table read benefiting the International Myeloma Foundation.
Doris Roberts, who played Marie Barone, died in 2016. Georgia Engel and Fred Willard, who played the in-laws of Garret's character Robert Barone, died in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Sawyer Sweeten, the young actor who played Geoffrey Barone opposite his twin brother Sullivan and older sister Madylin Sweeten, died in 2015.