[05/02/05 - 12:00 AM]
CBS Marketing and Publicity Blitz in Full Swing for "Everybody Loves Raymond" Series Finale

[via press release from CBS]


On-Air Spots to Include Celebrity Tributes from Dr. Phil, Charlie Sheen, Jason Alexander Anthony LaPaglia, Jeff Probst and others

TV Land "Raymond" Stunt to Air during Series' May 16 Finale

Comedy Central to feature Ray Romano Stand-Up Routines May 13 and May 14

King World Celebrates the Network Finale with a Special Month of May Programming for "Everybody Loves Raymond" in Syndication

Other Initiatives Include Heavy Promotion on Viacom Cable and Radio Properties, Extensive Co-Marketing with 200-Plus CBS Affiliated Stations and Special Content on In-Flight Program "CBS Eye on American"

Publicity Blitz on May 16 with Cast Appearances on Top-rated Daytime Talk Shows, Cable Outlets, Syndicated Entertainment Magazines

Ray Romano to appear May 16 on "Late Show with David Letterman"

Let the EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND publicity and marketing blitz begin!

As the Emmy award-winning comedy series heads toward its final episode, CBS is continuing to roll out an aggressive multi-platform marketing and publicity campaign to support the finale of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND.

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND -- America's #1 Comedy in Viewers, Adults 18-49 and 25-54 -- signs off with its 210th episode on May 16. The finale will be preceded by a one-hour special featuring behind-the-scenes footage, highlights from the show's nine seasons and interviews with the cast.

The multi-layered effort includes on-air tributes by celebrities; heavy promotion on Viacom radio and cable properties; extensive co-marketing with CBS's 200-plus affiliated stations; special RAYMOND-themed content on "CBS Eye on American"; and in conjunction with King World, a special month of May programming for episodes in syndication.

CBS is also maximizing promotional opportunities within the Viacom family with an extensive campaign on sister cable networks such as VH1, Comedy Central, Nick at Nite, TV Land and CMT, as well as Infinity radio stations and the Westwood One network.

In a fitting tribute to EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, TV Land will pre-empt regularly scheduled programming to salute the series on Monday, May 16 � the night of the series finale. Beginning at 9 p.m., as the finale of Everybody Loves Raymond is airing on CBS, TV Land will be closed for business. Instead of regularly scheduled programming, viewers tuning in to TV Land will instead see a room filled with 210 guys named Raymond. Each Raymond represents an episode of the series, and will wear a t-shirt identifying which episode they represent. They will stand and introduce themselves, one by one, by name and episode, for the entire half hour. Throughout this tribute, TV Land will remind viewers that they should really be watching the finale on CBS.

Prior to the series finale, Comedy Central will present a half-hour special featuring Ray Romano's stand-up act. The special will air on May 13 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) and May 14 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT).

CBS stars and other celebrities will also take part in a series of promotional spots where they'll congratulate RAYMOND on its spectacular nine-year run and express why the show is so special to them. Participating celebrities include Dr. Phil, Jeff Probst, Charlie Sheen, Anthony LaPaglia, Jason Alexander, Mark Addy, Jami Gertz, Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz and Khandi Alexander, among others.

CBS also has launched a comprehensive joint marketing effort with its 200-plus affiliated local stations. The network will provide a package of spots focusing on great moments in RAYMOND history and other show highlights to the stations to customize locally.

In addition, CBS has produced a tie-in guide resembling a Barone family photo album, which is full of ways that stations can promote the finale locally. The guide includes RAYMOND trivia questions for local contests (including a list of guest stars from Kevin James, star of THE KING OF QUEENS, to basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). There are also multiple concepts for other types of contests such as EVERYBODY LOVES A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW COOK-OFF -- in the tradition of Marie and Debra -- between mothers and daughters-in-law with a local restaurant chef acting as judge.

Besides on-air, CBS will take its RAYMOND promotions to the air with "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND Moments" on American Airlines' in-flight program "CBS Eye on American." "CBS Eye on American" is seen by millions of travelers each month and has aired full episodes of RAYMOND since 1998.

King World Productions, Inc., which handles domestic syndication of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, will be presenting a special month of programming in May to celebrate the series Network finale. The celebration will kick-off the week of May 2 with a special week of "Cast Favorites" � episodes that have been specially selected by the series cast. The weekend prior to the Network finale, May 14-15, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND" in syndication will feature a four-hour block of back-to-back episodes for participating stations. The marathon episodes were selected by Executive Producer Phil Rosenthal and Ray Romano, and will include a one minute introduction by a member of the cast or a show writer. The month-long special will wrap up the week of May 16 when "Famous Firsts" are showcased. The pilot episode will air in syndication on May 16 to coincide with the network finale. Other famous firsts that will air that week include "She's the One," the series' first Emmy for Best Comedy Series and "Debra Makes Something Good," Debra's first kitchen success.

The publicity campaign began with the cast conducting a press conference at the Television Critic's Association annual Winter Press Tour. Following the final taping of the series, the cast of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND appeared on "Oprah" (2/9/05), giving the top-rated talk show one of its highest-rated editions of the season (8.9/21 Weighted Metered Market Overnight Average) -- ahead of two "Oprah" shows devoted to "Desperate Housewives" (cast of "Desperate Housewives," 7.4/18; Oprah gets a role on "Desperate Housewives," 8.3/19)

Leading up to the series finale, cast members from the Emmy award-winning series will appear on several of the leading daytime and late night talk shows, including "Late Show with David Letterman," "Larry King Live," "Live with Regis & Kelly," "The Tony Danza Show" and "The View," among others.

On May 16, the cast will appear together in New York City for one last time in a media blitz that will start on the CBS "Early Show" and culminate on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange when the cast of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND and CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves ring the closing bell.

  [may 2005]  


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