When Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal was asked to help adapt the show for a Russian audience, he was ecstatic. But that feeling didn't last long.
"I was quite flattered that the Russians would want me to go, until I heard that I needed kidnap and ransom insurance," Rosenthal tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. "Then, my fear of getting kidnapped was replaced by my fear of what they were going to do to the show."
Watch Everybody Loves Raymond clips in our Online Video Guide
From casting to costumes, every step along the way was a bit of a fight...
ABC is kicking off its fall season with an Everybody Loves Raymond reunion on The Middle. The network is now confirming to me what I first reported in my column back in June that Ray Romano will guest star in the September 21 third season premiere of his former TV wife Patricia Heaton's sitcom.
Who's the funniest woman ever to appear on television?
From Lucille Ball's physical comedy on I Love Lucy to Tina's Fey's witty dialogue on 30 Rock, TV Guide Network is counting down the most comedic ladies who have graced the small screen.
Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton
The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (of which I'm a charter voting member) handed out its inaugural Critics' Choice Television Awards on June 20. On the red carpet, the nominated actors and producers — all hopeful they'll also be on the Primetime Emmy ballot when it's announced July 14 — filled me in on what they're hatching for their exciting fall returns.
The Middle (Best Comedy nominee)
Cocreator Eileen Heisler tells me they are superclose to signing...
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Question: I love that you constantly champion The Middle every time you mention Modern Family. Both shows are must-see TV in our house. Modern Family has great characters that make us laugh, and though most of the situations are unlikely to happen in real life, they pull it off and make it all seem almost normal. Lately, though, The Middle has been creeping into first place for the most laughs in one episode in our house. Unlike Modern Family, The Middle makes us laugh because we see ourselves in that family. I think every parent could relate to...
Emmy season is under way! Over the next two weeks, Emmy voters will be checking off names and shows they think are worthy of getting a nomination come July 14. We here at TVGuide.com have a few picks in mind ourselves. Next up: our dream ballot for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy:
Atticus Shaffer is having Lego flashbacks. "It was a Star Wars set," he says with a groan that makes him sound 70, not 12. "Something like 1,035 pieces. It took me three days to put together." Shaffer only had a few last bricks to click when... Crash! Meowww! "My cat jumped on it and destroyed everything." Shaffer scrunches up his shoulders, tosses up his hands. "So you just start rebuilding."
The adorable young star of The Middle is tenacious like that. At a Lego store near where the ABC sitcom shoots in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, Shaffer is recalling his most memorable projects:
Patricia Heaton, The Middle
In honor of Mother's Day, let's start there. I've already penned a tribute to the mighty Mags Bennett of FX's Justified, a poison-packing mountain mama fiercely and fatally devoted to her degenerate brood, as we saw in this week's fabulous finale. Brava, Margo Martindale. But that same Wednesday night, another Midwestern mom — The Middle's Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) from Orson, IN — gave us a pungently funny reminder of why our moms deserve a big hug every day...
Fans of Everybody Loves Raymond will be happy to hear that TV universes will once again collide on the Season 2 finale of The Middle. TV Guide Magazine has learned from the creators of the show, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, that Doris Roberts will return to the ABC sitcom as Brick's confrontational teacher, who last September went head to head with Patricia Heaton's Frankie, and intends to do the same again.
Even when the cast of The Middle is away from the set, they can't stop acting like a family. Patricia Heaton (Frankie Heck) gabs with her TV daughter, Eden Sher (Sue), about shopping. Neil Flynn (Mike) bonds with TV sons Charlie McDermott (Axl) and Atticus Shaffer (Brick) over who's the best shot during their on-set basketball games. We sat the close-knit crew down to swap stories about everything from the first time they met to their favorite Mexican veggie.