TNT greenlights Ray Romano series

'Men of Certain Age' added to original slate

After locking down Jerry Bruckheimer and Jada Pinkett Smith last week, TNT has put Ray Romano into its burgeoning original-programming slate.

The cabler has added an eighth hourlong to its series slate, greenlighting Ray Romano-produced character drama “Men of a Certain Age.”

Series stars Romano alongside Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula, and is focused on three fortysomething college buddies who are each coming to terms with a midlife that doesn’t live up to their previous expectations.

Series, from TNT Original Prods., was created by Romano and Mike Royce (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), who will serve as showrunner. Romano and Royce also hold the title of exec producer, along with Rory Rosegarten and Cary Hoffman.

Scott Winant helmed the pilot. TNT has placed a 10-episode order.

“The show isn’t ever going to be a weighty tome,” said Royce, who calls his series a “dramedy.” “We’re really just trying to write out of our own experience and make the show relatable.”

According to Royce, TNT is targeting a January 2010 premiere. A production start date has not been set.

Series is the third pilot in the past week to be greenlit by TNT, with the cabler announcing 10-episode orders for hospital drama “Time Heals,” starring Pinkett Smith, and Bruckheimer-produced cop show “The Line,” starring Dylan McDermott.

Under the direction of newly upped original programming topper Michael Wright, the Turner cable net has signaled its intention to program as many as three nights a week with original dramas in 2006.

On Jan. 26, the channel will bow its fifth hourlong series, “Trust Me,” which stars Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh as Chicago ad execs.

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