Prior to the casting of Patricia Heaton, Rosenthal had plans to meet with an unnamed actress that CBS “insisted” get the part. But Rosenthal didn’t think that person was right for the role of Debra.
CBS wanted a “hotter” actress for the role of Ray Romano’s wife
“I thought she was wrong, but I met with her and she was a very pleasant, very nice person. She wasn’t going to read for the role but during the meeting, I convinced her to read a little bit with me,” he said. “And she was 10 times worse for the part than I thought she would be!”