Ray Romano explores neuroses in TNT drama pilot

Tue Apr 1, 2008 5:45am EDT

Actor Ray Romano poses at the premiere of his new film ''The Grand'', set in the world of professional poker, in Hollywood, California March 5 2008 . REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Actor Ray Romano poses at the premiere of his new film ''The Grand'', set in the world of professional poker, in Hollywood, California March 5 2008 .

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Ray Romano is looking to return to television, this time on the drama side.

The former "Everybody Loves Raymond" star will play a slightly neurotic, divorced father on cable network TNT's pilot "Men of a Certain Age."

The character-based project will take a wry look at what it means to be a guy approaching midlife while also exploring the bonds of male friendship, all through the eyes of three college buddies who are in their 40s.

Romano will play Joe, who had dreams of being a pro golfer but instead owns and runs a party store. His two best friends are Owen, an overstressed black husband and father who is a car salesman at his dad's dealership, and Terry, an offbeat, handsome, intelligent and still struggling-to-make it actor.

Romano wrote the script with Mike Royce, a writer-producer from "Everybody Loves Raymond."

"Mike and I have always had success writing what we know," said Romano, aged 50. "What we know now is that we're middle-aged, neurotic and fat."

Romano won an Emmy for his starring role on "Raymond," which ended its nine-year run in 2005, and shared two best comedy series Emmys with the rest of the show's producing team. Coming up, he is set to reprise his voice role as Manny the woolly mammoth in the third installment of the animated "Ice Age" franchise.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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