Rosenthal says Heaton hadn't auditioned when CBS told him they saw a specific type of actress for the Debra Barone role. “CBS wanted someone hotter to play Debra,” Rosenthal, whose acclaimed sitcom debuted 25 years ago this week, tells Yahoo Entertainment. "I almost quit." But before quitting, Rosenthal agreed to meet with CBS’s first choice for Debra, an actress he avoids naming in interviews or in his Raymond memoir, You're Lucky You're Funny. “They insisted on this actress," he said. "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, and she was 10 times worse for the part than I thought she would be!” Rosenthal says he and then-CBS boss Les Moonves spent some time haggling over actress before Heaton auditioned and won the Debra role.