Nobody who is a fan of American sitcoms can ever forget “Friends,” which took an old format and updated it on the heels of “Seinfeld.” One of the actors from “Friends” was almost cast as Debra.
Jane Sibbett, who played Ross’s first ex-wife, was offered the role by the network. However, she declined it when she realized that Romano didn’t know about the offer and that he was pushing for Patricia Heaton to play Debra. Of course, Heaton was eventually cast, but it was only a week before they began shooting the pilot.
Hiding the Issues
In 1998, Brad Garrett proposed to his girlfriend, Jill Diven, on the set of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” As so frequently happens in Hollywood, the relationship started to have issues, and the two separated in 2005. They would eventually get divorced in 2007.
However, until this became public knowledge, Garrett didn't let anyone on the show know about the issues he was having at home, literally putting on a funny face. The news leaked due to the paparazzi in 2006, but Garrett was able to keep people from figuring it out for so long, even those on the cast with him.
A Worldwide Phenomenon
America isn't the only country where everybody loves Raymond. A Russian version, called “The Voronins,” was helped by showrunner Philip Rosenthal, and it eventually became Russia's number one comedy, even moving on to original episodes after they had run through all of the American scripts. There are also versions in Egypt, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom.
While many were successful, the Polish version, “Everybody Loves Roman,” was canceled after four episodes. The United Kingdom version, “The Smiths,” only got a pilot. The rest, as far as we can tell, did fine.
A Reference to the Monster
During a season three episode, Frank Barone dresses up as a Halloween classic: Frankenstein's monster. While it's easy to say that this was just a non-licensed outfit for the character, there's a deeper meaning. One of Peter Boyle's greatest roles was that very same monster in the Mel Brooks film “Young Frankenstein,” acting alongside the legendary Gene Wilder.
While Frank doesn't exactly put on the ritz in the “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode, it's still a fun shout-out to an enduring and hilarious movie that helped make Boyle's career as good as it got.
Amy's Amazing Changing Brother
Amy joined the cast as Robert Barone's girlfriend and then wife, and the character had a confusing brother if you pay close enough attention. In the first episode he appeared in, he was played by Paul Reubens of “The Pee-wee Herman Show” fame. Reubens only lasted for a single episode before he was replaced with Chris Elliot, and the character's name even changed with the new actor.
At first, he was Russel, and then he became Peter. This name change is, of course, not commented on, and no explanation has been given.