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EMMYS: Ray Romano And Mike Royce Of 'Men Of A Certain Age'

Deadline TV contributor Diane Haithman files this report:

TNT’s second-season series Men of a Certain Age, created by Ray Romano and Mike Royce, is all about the L word to describe three middle-aged males (portrayed by Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher) who are stumbling through mid-life together on the show. “It’s an old adage – write what you know, and we knew loser men,” Romano cracked, quickly adding: “No, don’t write that. How about not loser men – lost men.” Romano, 53, and Royce, 46, also place themselves in the “lost” category when the long-running Everybody Loves Raymond came to an end in 2005. At first, Romano says, they thought a break would be fun. And it was, for a couple of months. Then it wasn’t. They were sitting around talking about it when they decided to write about it instead. “The reasons for getting together was, ‘Let’s do something because we’re not doing anything,’ and then we thought, why not write about how that’s affecting us?” Royce said. Romano adds that, since no one would relate to the tragedy of losing one’s hit comedy series “except for Seinfeld,” they decided to translate their sense of crisis to guys with less glamorous lives.

TNT programming chief Michael Wright was calling the drama “a very special show” for the network and was upfront that it represented a departure for TNT. Romano and Royce struggled with TNT executives to concoct the right blend of drama and comedy: “I think at the beginning they were more concerned about lightning things up a little, to make them less gloomy,” Romano said. Added Royce: “They were nervous about bumming everybody out.” But Men of a Certain Age quickly became a critical and ratings hit for TNT. (The New York Times called it a “funny, elegant meditation on midlife.”) And although the ratings have not been as strong in the show’s second season, Wright told January’s Television Critics Association press tour: “We couldn’t be happier with the show. We look for a lot of different metrics on TNT. Obviously we want big ratings success, but we also want attention and good reviews from critics. This show works on a lot of levels for us.”

The show has snagged a Peabody Award in May and a 2010 Emmy nomination for Andre Braugher. With 6 new episodes that began airing in June, Romano and Royce are thinking about the Emmys. “It feels like the show needs to get on the radar more,” acknowledged Romano. “I don’t know if we’re there yet – critically yes, but not in terms of awareness. It’s hard to make a dent.” Royce agreed. “It’s probably just in my head, but we have a bit of the dreaded: ‘We’re a drama, but it has comedy in it.’ ” Royce said. “But I think we are attracting more and more people, with the Peabody and everything, people are now approaching the show for what we think it is.”

  1. Ray Romano’s manager slaps on an exec. Prod. Credit and collects his checks. I mean really? Does the 25k check he gets an episode seem worthy of what he does? What does he do-do?

    1. That’s pretty standard procedure in the world of stand up comedy.

      All our managers take producer credits. I’ve questioned it in the past myself but they do far more than a normal actor manager to get you where you are, so I understand it.

  2. Andre Braugher is incredible. He can own a scene just by walking through without a line to say. Like most people I first saw him on “Homicide,” and just sat there amazed, thinking “who is this guy?”

  3. I clicked for three more sentences? Really?

    Yeah Rory gets a check for managing Ray. How’s that make him any different from every other manager taking a producer credit?

  4. Men of a Certain Age has some of the best, well developed characters who touch the hearts and souls of the audience…because its spirit is as close to real life as television gets..congrats to Ray, Andre, Scott, Mike, the writers and the entire Men production team…OUTSTANDING storytelling humanity.

    1. It’s like I wrote your post myself! The show is smart, touching, and it just seems real. Good for everybody involved!

  5. this sounds alot like manchild that was on the B.B.C in 2002 with Nigel Havers and Anthony Head i might be wrong having seen nether they just sound very similar i might have to find this show as i love anything Scott Bakula is in even enterprise and lord of illusion

    1. Manchild was brilliant. VERY funny and poignant. I’ve never seen MOACA but it sounds exactly like Manchild…. without the dapperness.

  6. Why are there such gaps between episodes in their seasons? Maybe that’s why they’re not getting the ratings.

    1. Definitley. It might be different if there were at least 8 episodes between breaks…but six?

  7. The show is uncomfortably real. Almost painful to watch. MOACA has deployed hidden cameras in my house, and my friends’ houses too. Pitch perfect performances coupled with inspired writing creates a voyeuristic reflection of real life, emotionally draining and oddly uplifting. I attended the Paley Center event this week featuring Romano, Royce, and Bakula; all three were sincere, funny, and exceedingly odd. And I mean that in a good way!

  8. Regarding the cancellation:

    Please put the show on HBO or SHOWTIME where it belongs. Best written SHOW IN HISTORY. All the MEN ARE HOT. Well acted.
    True, TNT did not do enough promoting. I never heard of the show until LAST WEEK, as I cruised In Demand feature on time warner cable, and now watched both seasons in three days. I just told everyone I know about it.

  9. This was such an enjoyable show, why don’t they got to one of the major networks? It sure would beat what we have on these channels now….Shame, shame…

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