CBS' marketing blitz for 'Raymond' finale gathers steam

MUMBAI: As the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond heads toward its final episode on 16 May US broadcaster CBS is continuing to roll out an aggressive multi-platform marketing and publicity campaign to support the event.

In India the show airs on Star World.


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 the special CBS Eye on American which airs for passengers travelling on American Airlines. in addition in conjunction with King World there will be a month of programming for episodes in syndication.



In a fitting tribute CBS' sister channel TV Land will pre-empt regularly scheduled programming to salute the series on 16 May. 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. CBS stars and other celebrities will also take part in a series of promotional spots where they'll congratulate the show on its 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 has also produced a tie-in guide resembling a Barone family photo album. It is full of ways that stations can promote the finale locally. The guide includes trivia questions for local contests including a list of guest stars from Kevin James who starred in the movie Hitch to basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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 and The Tony Danza Show.

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

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