Phil Rosenthal wanted to be an actor. He and several friends in New York wrote a show called “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”, in which he acted, and an agent saw his work and told him to come to LA to pursue acting. Rosenthal did, and instead wound up meeting up with high school friend Alan Kirschenbaum, writing a screenplay, and falling in love with writing.
A self-described TV addict, Rosenthal grew up watching The Honeymooners, Your Show of Shows, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and All in the Family. He discusses how the TV shows he liked as a kid shaped his sensibilities as a writer and helped to teach him structure:
After several years as a staff writer with writing partner Oliver Goldstick on A Family for Joe, Baby Talk, Down the Shore, and Coach, Rosenthal branched out on his own and created the popular sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. In the following clip, he shares how he came up with the show’s title:
Everybody Loves Raymond ran for nine years on CBS, and lives on in syndication. Below Rosenthal describes his vision for what the series finale would be:
To learn more about Phil Rosenthal, and to see his tips for sitcom writing, watch his full interview here.