Ted Koppel and his colleagues at Nightline aren't the only ones quaking in their boots at news that Late Show host David Letterman may defect from CBS to ABC. Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano — whose top-rated CBS knee-slapper is produced by Letterman — also is dreading the prospect.
"I hope he doesn't [leave]," Romano tells TV Guide Online. "Things will get confusing. He's a producer on our show, so that would just get more crazy. Now what? Am I loyal to Dave? Because I have to be. But I'm also loyal to CBS."
"It's like two parents that split up and you're the child wondering who you belong to," he continues. "So I hope he doesn't go. I want to keep him in the family. But... I'm still a [Letterman] fan no matter where he goes."
If the bespectacled funnyman does jump to ABC, CBS entertainment president Leslie Moonves would face one of the biggest challenges of his tenure: Finding someone to replace him. Might Romano be a contender? Well, his casual, laid-back persona would certainly be a perfect fit for late-night audiences. What's more, when CBS was looking for a personality to succeed Tom Snyder on The Late Late Show, execs reportedly put out feelers to Romano. (He declined and Craig Kilborn eventually won the gig.)
For his part, Romano — who lent his voice to the upcoming animated adventure Ice Age (opening March 15) — remains content being loved in prime time. "My biggest fear [about being a late-night host] would be that I'm just not smart enough," he confesses. "Maybe I could be funny enough, but you have to be worldly. You're going to have people of every walk of life on a talk show and that ain't me. I don't have enough knowledge about everything." Pausing, he adds: "Maybe if there was some kind of simple angle to it, but otherwise, no."Les, I'm sensing some wiggle room there...