The producer of TV show Everybody Loves Raymond had to dip into his own pocket to pay for the disruption caused by cast absences.

Production on the show was supposed to begin on 11 August (03), but DORIS ROBERTS, Peter Boyle and Patricia Heaton delayed proceeding by calling in sick, pushing filming back until 21 August (03).

Co-star Brad Garrett has also been absent from the set - and will be until bosses begin negotiations on his requested pay rise. He has so far been written out of the season premiere.

Insurance covered a big chunk of the cash lost when the taping of the series' eighth season was scrapped. But about 45 members of the crew stood to lose $80,000 (GBP50,000) in weekly wages that weren't covered, production sources tell DAILY VARIETY.

The crew members still got paid, however, because the show's executive producer PHIL ROSENTHAL wrote a cheque to make up for what the insurance didn't cover.

And more cash is expected to come from the pockets of Rosenthal and the show's star RAY ROMANO - sources tell the trade publication that all of the series' profit participants could decide to give up a small portion of their profits to keep salary concerns at bay.

Meanwhile, Brad Garrett has been written out of the sitcom for a second successive week after failing to show up for work yesterday morning (25AUG03).

26/08/2003 02:04