EXCLUSIVE: This is the news Parenthood fans had been waiting for — I’ve learned that Ray Romano has closed a deal to return to the quirky NBC dramedy next season, reprising his character as Sarah’s (Lauren Graham) boss/paramour Hank Rizzoli. I hear Romano will have a major presence, appearing in as many as 12-15 episodes, in line with the 14 episodes he did this season.
Parenthood‘s recent fourth season finale threw Hank’s future into question when Sarah turned down her handsome young fiancé Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter) for Hank, only to learn that Hank was moving to Minnesota to be near his daughter. I hear Romano’s decision to return stems from the great relationship he’d developed with Parenthood developer/executive producer Jason Katims working on the show, something he had enjoyed since joining the cast at the beginning of last season. The underrated Parenthood, which has been one of the most reliable NBC drama performers, is moving to the high-profile Thursday 10 PM slot this fall. Romano, repped by ICM Partners, Conversation Company and Jon Moonves, won an Emmy for his starring role on the CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond and co-created and starred on the praised TNT dramedy Men Of A Certain Age.