Gary Susman
April 21, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The folks behind CBS’ top sitcom, ”Everybody Loves Raymond,” have been hinting for months that the current season might be its last, but Ray Romano now suggests that there may be one more year of jokes left in his writers’ brains. Asked on Saturday how he keeps the series fresh and original, Romano told the Associated Press, ”You stop after one more year.”

Romano’s comments echoed remarks that he and series creator Phil Rosenthal made at the beginning of the current season, the show’s seventh, saying they wanted to end the series before it jumped the shark. ”It’s hard work,” Romano said Saturday. ”You start repeating yourself.” It helps that Romano and Rosenthal can draw from their real lives to create stories for ”Raymond”’s multigenerational family dynamic, said Romano, who won his first Emmy last fall. ”The trick is to get out when you’re still wanted. Not too soon, but not too late”

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