×

'Everybody Loves Raymond' creator on the changing face of television

The television landscape is changing, with more original content coming from web-based platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The edgier the series, the more buzz and critical acclaim it seems to get.

However, Phil Rosenthal, the creator of the successful prime time series "Everybody Loves Raymond," told CNBC recently that his sitcom about a middle aged sports writer, probably would not get on the air today as television tries to pull in a younger demographic.

"We barely got on the air then, we would never get on now," Rosenthal told "On The Money" in an interview. He said TV executives are trying to get Americans, most of them in the hot Millenial demographic, to tune in.

"One of the crazy things to me is no matter where you pitch they all want to get younger," Rosenthal said.

The push for younger viewers comes as evidence suggests the traditional television audience is decidedly grayer.

The average age of U.S. television viewers is 44.4, according to recent data. At CBS, the station where "Everybody Loves Raymond" ran for 9 seasons, the average viewer is now 58.7 years of age, according to MoffettNathanson Research. The average age for an ABC viewer is 56.3 years old and for NBC (the sister company of CNBC) its 55.9 years old. The youngest audience of the broadcast networks appears to be Fox, at 47.8 years old.

Regardless of age, Rosenthal is hoping to pull in anew set of viewers with a new show, "I'll Have What Phil's Having," which started streaming on Netflix this month. The show follows Rosenthal as he travels to experience different foods and cultures.

"I tell people I'm exactly like Anthony Bourdain if he was afraid of everything," Rosenthal said. Still, there are lessons from the past as Rosenthal adapts to the new TV landscape.


In "I'll Have What Phil's Having," Rosenthal aims to encourage his audience to travel and learn about other cultures. "The world would be better if we all experienced a little bit of someone else's experience," he said.

Rosenthal is also trying to freshen up family television, using his traditional style but with visiting current places.

"With my new show, I'm trying to connect with people in what I think is an old-fashioned way without being old and stodgy," Rosenthal said. He has even managed to drag a familiar face along for the ride for "I'll Have What Phil's Having."

"I took Ray Romano himself, and we did an episode in Italy and he was not happy to travel, he didn't want to travel, he never traveled before," Rosenthal said. Romano is the star of the former hit series "Everybody Loves Raymond," who also helped inspire Rosenthal's new show.

"I saw what happened to Ray the character happen to Ray the person, he was transforming…I thought if I could do this for that guy, maybe I could do it for other people."

On the Money airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.