New Deal: Everybody Pays Raymond
Following last week's news of Kelsey Grammer's $75 million deal to continue with "Frasier" and Drew Carey's $60 million deal to keep up "The Drew Carey Show" comes Variety's report on Ray Romano. The trade paper says that the "Everybody Love Raymond" star, 43, is ready to sign on a new dotted line, too. His deal to star for two more seasons is said to involve a $40 million-plus contract that will ultimately pay him roughly $800,000 per episode. (Grammer's deal has him collecting $1.6 million per episode, the highest ever for a TV star. Jerry Seinfeld picked up $1 million per for his final season, and the five stars of "Friends" reputedly take home $750,000 an episode, which will also be Drew Carey's new payday.) Romano's new pact (his producers are HBO Independent Prods. and David Letterman's Worldwide Pants) is said to come with various sweeteners that could ultimately raise his fee to $900,000 per episode. Furthermore, everybody loves residuals: In September, reruns of "Raymond" will premiere in syndication.