Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Raymond Loves CSI

When CBS was planning out the 2000 schedule, the network president made an unusual decision; he asked Ray Romano, who was starring in Everybody Loves Raymond at the time to watch the various pilots with the development team.

The goal was to select the television shows that would premiere on the network that Fall. One of the shows that the development team loved was The Fugitive, a remake of the classic 1960's television show that had recently been rebooted for the big screen. They were unimpressed by a different show about criminalists called CSI. In fact, they all agreed that CSI belonged in the trash heap, never to be seen by anyone outside CBS.

Ray Romano, on the other hand, thought The Fugitive was old news and that CSI would be huge. In fact, he thought that if CBS had to choose between the two shows, it should chuck the well-known Fugitive and go with the unknown CSI. When the development team pushed back and insisted that The Fugitive should definitely get the pickup, Ray told them that was fine, but whatever they decided to do, CSI should be a part of it.

After some back and forth, CBS eventually took Ray Romano's advice, though it gave The Fugitive much more exposure and relegated CSI to also-ran status. The audience, however, still found CSI and completely agreed with Ray Romano. The Fugitive, meanwhile, was a colossal disappointment. While CSI earned an easy renewal, The Fugitive found itself canceled after just one season.