Three Emmys, Four Sons, and A Lot of Primetime Hits

Patricia Heaton sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “At Home With The Creative Coalition,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Heaton talks about why she took one look at Ray Romano and thought “Everybody Loves Raymond” would never go anywhere, why she thought the show could have gone on for a couple more seasons, her experience working with the late Norm MacDonald on “The Middle,” and more. Highlights below.

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 Highlights from “At Home With The Creative Coalition” featuring Patricia Heaton —

On why she thought “Everybody Loves Raymond” would never go anywhere after meeting Ray Romano for the first time:
“And then ‘Raymond’ came along, and that was an interesting thing because they were not looking for someone like me. They were looking for some blonde something… I remember reading the script, the pilot, and thinking, ‘This is really well written.’ That fruit-of-the-month scene is hilarious, and I’ve never seen anything like that. My character doesn’t seem fully fleshed out. She seems like a generic wife on a sitcom with a kind of doltish husband. But this is so well written that whoever they cast, they’ll hear that person’s voice and it will become something. So I went in, and I was very rushed because my nanny was in college and she needed to get to classes… So I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to try to get done as fast as I can with this audition.’ That was the entire motivation. My motivation doing the audition was I need to get this over with quickly. And I went into the room, and there were like 12 women ahead of me. And I was just like, ‘Ugh, this is not going to be good.’ And I said, ‘Hey, does anybody mind. I have a babysitting issue. Could I go ahead of you?’ And they were all so lovely, of course, and said, ‘Sure, sure, sure.’ And I went into the room, and they chatted with me and chatted with me… And I was looking around thinking, ‘Which guy is Ray Romano?’ And then, you know, he was sitting kind of in a corner like Boo Radley. And I thought, ‘Oof, if that’s the star, I should not buy new clothes for a while. This is not going to go anywhere.’ But they kept chatting with me, and I finally just said, ‘Can we just read the sides because I have a little bit of a time issue with my nanny’… So I read for them, and then I left and went back to clipping coupons because, like, that’s where we were at.”

On her favorite episodes and why she thinks “Everybody Loves Raymond” could have kept going for a couple more seasons:
“I loved all the episodes with Brad Garrett’s character. They were so wonderful because he was such a sad sap and such a sweet character. So many. There’s too many to name. And the show got better and better and better and better and better. And it never flagged. I think it probably could have gone for one more season. It probably could have gone for a couple more seasons because I think we had an opportunity there with Brad [Garrett] and Monica Horan, their characters Robert and Amy getting married with their own kids so I think you could have [inaudible], but I think at that time Peter [Boyle] was kind of going downhill with his cancer.”

On working with the late Norm MacDonald on “The Middle”:
“We had the amazing Norm MacDonald, who just left us, playing Mike’s brother. Norm was so funny. He was like Peter Boyle in that he just came from these obtuse angles. You never knew what he was going to say. You never knew if he was actually being straight with you or if he was joking with you. It was such a joy to work with him.”


More about “At Home With The Creative Coalition”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “At Home With The Creative Coalition” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at

Upcoming guests include Mädchen Amick (“Riverdale”), Shiri Appleby (“UnREAL”), Justin Bartha (“The Hangover,” “National Treasure”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Nicholas Gonzalez (“La Brea,” “The Good Doctor”), Tony Hale (“The Mysterious Benedict Society,” “Arrested Development”), Evan Handler (“And Just Like That…,” “Californication”), Michael Imperioli (“The Many Saints of Newark,” “The Sopranos”), New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions”), Aasif Mandvi (“Evil”), Rachel Mason (“Circus of Books”), International Bestselling Author Patrick McGinnis (“The 10% Entrepreneur,” “Fear of Missing Out”), Yolonda Ross (“The Chi”), Steve Schirripa (“Blue Bloods,” “The Sopranos”), Reid Scott (“Echo”), Alena Smith (“Dickinson”), and Matt Walsh (“Veep”).

Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), David Alan Basche (“The Exes”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Alan Cumming (“Briarpatch”), Ethan Cutkosky (“Shameless”), The Creative Coalition President and actor Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us”), Michael Fishman (“Roseanne,” “The Conners”), Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Willie Garson (“Just Like That”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Jon Huertas (“This Is Us,” “Castle”), Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA,” “The West Wing”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Katherine McNamara (“Shadowhunters”), Marta Milans (“Shazam!”), Rob Morrow (“Billions”), Kathy Najimy (“Duncanville”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl”), Anthony Rapp (“Rent”), Mona Scott-Young (“Love & Hip Hop”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), Constance Zimmer (“Good Trouble”), and David Zucker (“Airplane!,” “Scary Movie”). 

More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. For more information, visit