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Heaton Hurtin' at Ray Read-Through - Broadcasting & Cable

Heaton Hurtin' at Ray Read-Through

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As the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond did a read-through of the script for the series finale Tuesday, actress Patricia Heaton broke down in tears. "She couldn't stop crying all day," Ray Romano told critics at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

"To the great credit of the cast, they ignored it," Heaton, who plays his
wife on the show. "To acknowledge crying means we might have to start crying," added Phil Rosenthal, who's been the show's executive producer since it went on the air nine years ago.

That episode, the show's 210th, is scheduled to be shot on Friday.

Producers want details to remain a secret until the episode airs May 16. So, while it will be shot before a live audience,that audience will be composed of friends and family of the cast, crew and CBS.

Critics asked Rosenthal why the show is going off now when it's still one of the top comedies on television. "We've done every single thing that we could think of," he said. "We are bone dry."

One critic noted that there doesn't seem to be much hype about the end of
the series, especially compared to the way the world sent Friends off the
air. "Really? We thought that this is hype," Rosenthal told the critics  "We want as much hype as possible. Hype away."

As critics entered the ballroom where the press conference was held, CBS
handed them a DVD set of the show's first season (cost at Amazon.com:
$33.74).

The network plans to broadcast an hour retrospective show before the half-hour season finale. It's going to ask viewers to vote for their favorite Raymond episodes, airing the top five in the weeks running up to the finale. And, of course, the cast is scheduled to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which is distributed by King World, co-owned with CBS. "After that, we're going to cut a ribbon at a new Bed, Bath and Beyond," joked Romano.

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