LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- After nearly three months of "maybes" and "probablys," CBS and Ray Romano have reached an 11th-hour deal to bring back "Everybody Loves Raymond" for a ninth and final season.
As expected, the show's swan song will be for a shortened season of 16 episodes, down from its typical production order of 24 installments. It's also likely some of the episodes will be clip shows, much like "Friends'" final season.
It's believed CBS will pay roughly $5-$6 million per episode for the 16 half-hours. While not quite the $10 million per episode NBC paid Warner Bros. Television for the final season of "Friends," the deal nevertheless marks one of the most lucrative in television today. Whether or not Romano will retain his $1.8-$2 million per episode salary wasn't made clear.
Romano and Phil Rosenthal created the series, which comes from HBO Independent Productions and Worldwide Pants.