DOES EVERYBODY HATE RAYMOND?

Published on: May 7, 2003

It seems as if everybody hates Raymond!

Word on the set is that lots of crew, the cast and writers of Ray Romano's hit show are angry with the star after he held up contract negotiations to get himself a hefty raise, and then committed to only one more year with "Everybody Loves Raymond."

They're worried he's planning to walk away from the CBS sitcom as soon as his film career takes off, ending the popular series and leaving them without jobs. And they're fed up with standing by helplessly while he makes key decisions that affect their lives.

"People are fuming," a source told The ENQUIRER. "People feel like Ray's been toying with their futures, ignoring what's important for them while he takes care of No. 1.

"They have worked long and hard to make the show a hit and they're finally at a point where big money is rolling in. They're not happy to hear Ray talk about walking away from the windfall."

Ray agreed to come back for another season for $1 million per episode, up from $800,000 last season. But he refused to commit beyond that and that's made people unhappy.

Ray's got his first feature film "Eulogy" with Winona Ryder coming out and he wants to see how it does before he commits to returning to the show beyond next season. "It's a decision that will leave Ray with more millions either way -- but could be the end of the gravy train for the cast and crew," the source said.

Meanwhile, insiders say actor Brad Garrett -- who plays Raymond's brother on the show -- should be fuming for another reason.

The actor was being considered for his own sitcom until network honchos decided his departure from "Raymond" would hurt the show, the source revealed.

"Brad's worried he missed his big chance," the source said.

Insiders think Garrett may also been put off by Romano's hiring of Monica Horan, wife of his confidante Phil Rosenthal -- the show's executive producer -- to play Garrett's fiancée on the sitcom.

"No one else even auditioned for the part," the source said. "I'm sure Brad felt that they should at least have a few people read for the part to make sure the person would fit in.

"But Ray gave the part to his pal's wife -- and that was that. It was another display of Ray's power -- and another source of irritation for the cast."

An insider told The ENQUIRER:

"Ray figures it's his show, and he can do what he wants with it -- including ending it if it suits him. And it's that 'I'm the boss' attitude that's rankling the cast. There was a lot of tension on the set before they broke for summer hiatus."

Agreed another source close to the show: "It seems that no one on the set loves Ray right now. He's made it abundantly clear that he's just biding his time with the TV show.

"The whole set is a mess."