Bye bye bye!

CBS Renews Sitcom ‘Raymond’ for Final Season
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The CBS television network announced on Sunday it has struck a deal with the producers of its top-rated comedy, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” to bring the show back in the fall for a ninth and final season.
With NBC’s megahit “Friends” having ended its 10-year run on prime time two weeks ago, the Emmy-winning “Raymond” will return to the airwaves in September as the No. 1 sitcom on U.S. television.
But following in the footsteps of “Friends,” “Raymond” will conclude its network run with fewer than the usual 22 episodes that make up a complete sitcom season, airing just 16 fresh shows for its ninth and final year, CBS said.
The announcement comes days before CBS is due to unveil its fall schedule as the major networks kick off their “upfront” sales of commercial time to advertisers this week in New York.
The future of “Raymond” had been in doubt since series star Ray Romano indicated publicly last year that he was leaning toward calling it quits once the show’s eighth season drew to a close in May, saying he wanted the show to end on a creative high note.
Romano is believed to be the highest-paid sitcom star on television, reportedly earning between $1.7 million and $2 million per episode this past season for his role as a sports writer and harried family man Ray Barone.
“The decision about coming back was always about maintaining the quality, and not feeling like we’ve overstayed our welcome,” Romano said in a statement. “I look forward to being a hapless, sexless husband once again in year nine.”
Series creator and executive producer Phil Rosenthal said he, Romano and the show’s writers met a few months ago and decided they could come up with enough new material to keep the comedy on the air for one more season.
“Our decision had nothing to do with money for Ray or me,” Rosenthal said. “Emotionally, we never want the show to end, but everything must.”
The series won the Emmy Award last year as television’s best comedy. It currently ranks 10th in viewership among all prime-time programs, averaging 17.4 million viewers each week.