Everybody Loves Raymond was a hugely successful comedy series which ran for over 200 episodes across nine seasons, spanning 1996-2005. The series contained several elements of Ray Romano’s real life, including him having an older brother who was a cop. It was Romano’s real-life brother Richard (who became Robert Barone in the series) who inspired Everybody Loves Raymond‘s title.
“It was a title that, first of all, the critics…it invites hatred,” Romano explained to Larry King in 2002. “It came about from a sarcastic comment my brother made, who is a police officer. And he said, ‘Look what I do for a living, and look at Raymond – yeah, everybody loves Raymond.’ So we used it as a working title. And it just grew on CBS, and we couldn’t get rid of it.”
On another occasion Romano explained that Richard said the now-famous line on a day when Romano won an award for his stand-up comedy. “I had a day where people were shooting at me, and you’re bringing home trophies. Everybody loves Raymond, don’t they?”
Romano’s upbringing had been in Queens, which was changed to the more suburban setting of Long Island for the series. The series would eventually feature a crossover with another sitcom – The King of Queens. The title also inspired Everybody Hates Chris, which began in 2005 – the same year that Everybody Loves Raymond ended. Everybody Hates Chris starred Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary) as a teenaged version of Chris Rock.
The title being Everybody Loves Raymond definitely makes it easy for review headlines to be less than favorable, but the sitcom about a ‘normal’ family experiencing the frustrations of every day life certainly proved popular with audiences.