EVERYBODY MUGS RAYMOND
‘Everybody Loves Raymond” co-star Brad Garrett remains AWOL from the popular sitcom as he battles CBS for a raise.
Garrett, who won an Emmy last year for his portrayal of sad-sack big brother Robert Barone, wants to up his reported $150,000-per-episode fee, which comes out to about $3.6 million a year – considered low by industry standards for a show of “Raymond’s” top-rated caliber.
By comparison, series star Ray Romano inked a deal earlier this year paying him almost $2 million an episode – the largest per-episode deal in TV history. Romano also gets a cut of the show’s syndication profits.
CBS released a statement pointing out that it’s already renegotiated Garrett’s contract twice before – and isn’t pleased with this latest turn of events.
“Brad Garrett is an enormously talented actor whom we hold in the highest regard,” the statement said. “As such, we have accommodated Brad’s request to negotiate new contracts twice over the past four years.
“The most recent agreement calls for Brad’s services through the eighth (upcoming) season . . . It’s unfortunate that he is not honoring his contract.”
Garrett’s “people” say that CBS, anticipating the contract squabble, ordered “Raymond” creator/executive producer Phil Rosenthal to write Garrett out of the season’s first episode, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.
That could be troublesome, since Robert Barone, a New York cop, (finally!) got married in last season’s finale.
Raymond’s series wife, star Patricia Heaton, meanwhile, has also been calling in sick but really isn’t feeling well, sources say – putting “Raymond” about a week behind schedule (production on the new season is expected to begin next week).
Garrett, a stand-up comedian by trade, portrayed TV great Jackie Gleason in a CBS biopic last year.
He took the role after the original choice, Mark Addy, pulled out because of his commitment to the CBS sitcom, “Still Standing.”
“Everybody Loves Raymond,” which premiered in 1997, is the highest-rated sitcom on TV and anchors CBS’ vaunted Monday-night schedule which includes “King of Queens” and “Yes, Dear.”
The series, built around Long Island sportswriter Ray Barone (Romano), also co-stars Peter Boyle, Doris Roberts and Ray’s meddlesome parents, Frank and Marie, who live across the street.
EVERYBODY MUGS RAYMOND