Ever notice how family guy Ray Romano's kids almost never get screen time on Everybody Loves Raymond? One has discipline problems and the twins have trouble in school, sure. But while these events are fodder for an episode or two, the Barone children are usually heard (about), but not seen. Their absence is no oversight, says creator and exec producer Phil Rosenthal.

"I wasn't interested in doing a show with cute kids," he explains. "I wanted to do a show about real people who happened to have children. On the surface, it could look like a Full House-type of show, and we wanted to avoid that. We wanted to do an adult sitcom, a nine o'clock show."

By rarely featuring the little ones, Rosenthal reasoned, they'd be more appreciated — without taking attention away from Ray's interaction with his own cantankerous parents. "I think child actors, in general, can wear out their welcome in a short amount of time."

Rosenthal may not be fond of young actors, but he's even less inclined to let younger writers take over his series, decrying the popular showbiz trend of hiring only twentysomething scribes. "You see how [the age of the writers] affects a series," he says. "I think you're writing for the general audience, and life experiences are made up from young people's point of view and older people's point of view. Why would you want to cut one of them off?"