Everybody Loves Raymond centers around the day to day life of sports writer, Ray Barone and his family. This hugely successful 90's sitcom was broadcast by CBS between 1996 and 2005, attracting viewers of up to 30 million in the USA during its peak. The show's popularity saw it not only become America's favourite sitcom, but also won it 13 Emmy awards during its ten years on the screen.
Set in Long Island, Everybody Loves Raymond is as much about his family as it is about Ray himself. Living with Ray is his wife Debra, played by Patricia Heaton and their three children. A major source of amusement throughout the whole series of the show is that fact that Ray's parents live directly across the street. Their constant unannounced visits become a major focus of the sitcom.
Raymond's parents are called Marie and Frank and can't help interfering with their son's life, much to the dismay of Ray's long-suffering wife. In the earlier seasons Rays brother, Robert, still lives with his parents, despite the fact he is well into his thirties. His parent's apparent preference of their youngest son Ray is a source of hilarity in several episodes.
Although their are several relationships that make the show work, none is more interesting and hilarious than that between Marie and Debra. Marie is a very protective mother and can't help having her say on anything to do with her precious son. This mainly includes the standard of Debra's cooking and cleaning. Despite Debra's protests, Marie simply can't help herself, leaving Raymond stuck in the middle.
Raymond is in many ways still a child. He fears his mother and is constantly trying to calm the tensions between her and his wife. On many occasions, he secretly sides with his mother, while telling Debra a completely different story.
Raymond's relationship with his brother Robert is a complicated one. While they clearly have great affection for each other, Robert clearly resents the fact his mother seems to bestow a great deal more attention on Ray. Robert himself is also a complicated character, working as a tough police officer while dealing with feelings of inferiority towards his brother. Like Ray, Robert also deeply fears his over-bearing mother. Much of the show's appeal is Robert's dead-pan delivery and hilarious facial expressions.
Ray's father Frank does anything for an easy life. While publicly pouring scorn on his wife Marie, he gives the impression that she clearly pulls the strings in the home. Frank Barone is also the source of much humor, delivering witty one-liners and provocative put-downs. Much of his time in the show is spent watching the TV or eating while events unfold around him.
The characters of Ray, Debra, Robert, Marie and Frank also appear on CBS's sister show, The King Of Queens. Doug Heffernan and Ray Barone are friends and both make guest appearances in each other's show. However, it is the dry wit of Raymond that makes fans come back for more. This show, watched in over 30 countries worldwide, will go down in history as one of the most loved and watched sitcoms in American TV history.