General News

"Raymond" Works Out Deals With Stars

By:
Aug 26, 2003 | 8:56am EDT

Everybody Loves Raymond decides to return some of that love to its stars.

Quelling the recent storm that has been swirling around on the Emmy-winning CBS series, Patricia Heaton, Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts have each made deals to receive back-end profits from the sitcom, a sum which could generate upward of $500 million in its first five years of syndication, Variety reports.

Word is still out, however, on the fifth cast member Brad Garrett, who would receive the same back-end deal as his co-stars but who is still holding out for salary increase. Variety reports CBS reps have begun talking to the actor about a raise that could double his income for the coming season but nothing has been set.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the Raymond cast were each granted a half-percentage point in the show, valued at $5-$7 million during the next few years, after existing participants agreed to collectively hand over a total of two percentage points in the show to divide among Heaton, Boyle, Roberts and Garrett. Those "existing participants" include CBS, HBO Independent Prods., Worldwide Pants, exec producers Phil Rosenthal and Ray Romano, who all agreed to give up some of their profits into order to spread the wealth.

The initial Raymond mutiny--where, in recent weeks, Heaton, Boyle and Roberts all mysteriously called in sick at various times delaying the production start for the eighth season, while Garrett flatly refused to return and was subsequently written out of the series' season premiere--seemed to stem from show creator Rosenthal and star Romano and their ambivalence towards doing a ninth season of the hit show. Both Rosenthal and Romano have been saying they want Raymond to go out on top and didn't want to fall into a rut of tired material.

But the other actors had already signed contracts with CBS that included a ninth season. Now, according to Variety, if the ninth season never happens, the co-stars will at least be guaranteed to make as much in back-end money as they would have made in salary for that ninth season. And if Romano and Rosenthal agree to do a ninth season, the back-end coin is gravy.

Attorney Bill Skrzyniarz, who negotiated Heaton's deal with attorney Jim Hornstein, told Variety Heaton was happy with her new deal.

"Patty and her reps are pleased that we, the network, the studio and many, many other parties were able to put our heads together and work out a mutually fair resolution to certain long-standing compensation issues, in particular, financial compensation in the show," Skrzyniarz said.

"The set continues to be a happy and productive one," he added. "It was a very complex situation, which normally would spell a lot more trouble. But since all parties believe so strongly in and so loved the show, it was always just a matter of talking things out, which has been accomplished."

The same cannot be said for Garrett. One industry insider familiar with the situation told Variety that CBS has offered the actor a deal that would pay him at least $10 million for the upcoming season of Raymond, including profit participation--more than two-and-a-half times the roughly $4 million Garrett is currently making. That would put him on the same level with Roberts and Boyle, but Garrett is said to be holding out for a deal equal to Heaton's salary.

Although production is moving forward on another episode of Raymond without the actor who plays Ray's brother Robert, Variety reports both sides continued to talk with some hope that a deal could be reached to get Garrett back on the show in time for taping of this week's episode, slated for Sept. 29.

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