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Cast Gains Syndie Cut

Sep 1, 2003  •  Post A Comment

As part of new compensation packages that sent the cast of “Everybody Loves Raymond” back to work last week, cast members were made participants in the sitcom’s back-end, which sources said could generate nearly $1 billion in its first syndication cycle alone.
Production on the show’s eighth season was delayed briefly last month after co-star Patricia Heaton called in sick. Actor Brad Garrett, who has won an Emmy Award for his role of Robert Barone on the CBS comedy, was written out of the first episode after he refused to report to the set until he secured a pay hike. Fellow cast members Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts also called in sick at various times in recent weeks. Mr. Garrett returned to work on Wednesday, Aug. 27. Filming of the second episode, slated to feature Mr. Garrett, is set for Thursday, Sept. 28.
Industry sources said the portion of the back-end that was to be shared among Mr. Boyle, Mr. Garrett, Ms. Heaton and Ms. Roberts amounts to about 2 percent of the syndie take. If the first cycle of “Raymond,” which spans about 61/2 years, brings in $1 billion, that would see the four performers sharing $20 million.
Until last week, series star and namesake Ray Romano was the only actor on the show with participation in syndie profits. He and the other profit participants-creator Phil Rosenthal, CBS and producers Worldwide Pants and HBO Independent Productions-decided collectively last week to shave off a small portion of their take to be distributed to the rest of the cast.
Mr. Garrett was also given a per-episode salary hike and retroactive pay. He was earning in the neighborhood of $150,000 an episode, and has been bumped up to about $250,000 per episode, sources said.
Mr. Boyle, Mr. Garrett, Ms. Heaton and Ms. Roberts all now have deals for a ninth season. Mr. Romano and Mr. Rosenthal are contracted only for the upcoming eighth season. A decision on a ninth season is not likely to be made until December or January.
And it appears that any decision about a potential spinoff starring Mr. Garrett, which CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves mentioned during this summer’s Television Critics Association Press Tour, will not be made soon.