Tag Archives: Andre Braugher

Campaign to Revive ‘Men of a Certain Age’ Gains Steam

Andre Braugher, Ray Romano, Scott Bakula TNT photo

An online campaign to resuscitate Ray Romano’s canceled, but still beloved “Men of a Certain Age” is apparently building.  Launched by viewer Jeff Martinous as soon as cancellation news hit the Internet earlier this month, the campaign headquarters at a Facebook page linked to a petition — http://www.facebook.com/SaveMenOfACertainAge.  We’re told that viewers unhappy about the cancellation of the show have received official word from co-creator Mike Royce that their voices are being heard — and that negotiations are in progress on multiple fronts.  Royce has tweeted: “Please go like this page and sign its petition. Then laugh a too-loud righteous laugh.”

You never know.  After all, social media got Betty White on “Saturday Night Live.”

Scott Bakula:’Men of a Certain Age’ Won’t be Drawn-Out Drama

Scott Bakula

Despite the fact that “Men of a Certain Age” has attained the audience numbers and critical acclaim to warrant a second season – which launches tomorrow night (12/6) on TNT – don’t expect the Ray Romano dramedy to linger on season after season.

That’s the word from the series’ Scott Bakula, who says of Ray and his co-creator, Mike Royce, “It was never their intention to have it become a nine-year-old show, to keep it going and going.  Their intention is to move the stories along relatively quickly.”

Thus, “Ray’s character is moving forward in his relationships.  His gambling story takes a crazy turn this year,” says Scott, speaking of Romano’s character’s apparent betting addiction.  The third member of their triumvirate of buddies, played by Andre Braugher, will be seen “taking over his father’s car dealership with his wife.  His dad has stepped away — but not stepped away.”

And as for Scott’s character, ne’er do well actor Terry, “The good news about him was he had so many places to go.  My character turns 50 this season, and when you’re an almost 50-year-old and as much of a Peter Pan kind of guy as Terry is, there’s all kinds of potential.  His car dealership job sticks for awhile, and Terry gets involved in a 9-to-5 lifestyle, which he’s never had to deal with before.  That’s a maturing step for him.  He has a responsibility because his friend has bailed him out and gotten him a job.  Because of his commitment to his friend, he can’t just bail out this time.”

Bakula makes it clear that as far as he is concerned, “The cohesiveness of the writing on this show is what brings it all together.  It’s not predictable, that’s kind of the wild card.  These guys, their styles are so jarringly different, nobody’s on the same page.  It’s amazing they all ended up in the same show.  Do you buy that these guys are good friends and buddies?  If you do, then we can do almost anything.”

Ironically, considering how convincingly he and Ray and Andre portray long-time bosom pals, they were near strangers when they began.  “We didn’t hang out that much before the show started.  I think I’d met Ray twice before the auditions.  We would cross paths at golf tournaments, fundraisers and that kind of thing.  We had a day of rehearsal or so together before we started shooting. That was it,” says Scott.

And during the hiatus between seasons, they also didn’t have a chance to pal around off-stage, “because Andre lives on the East Coast, he jumped on a plane even before the wrap party.  We all have kids.  Ray has a hugely busy life.”

Romano, Bakula, Braugher ‘Men’ Chemistry Fast, Says Scott

Scott Bakula ABC photo Ron Tom

Scott Bakula ABC photo Ron Tom

If Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula look like they’re having a good time together on those spots for their upcoming “Men of a Certain Age” TNT series – shown heavily during the baseball playoffs — it’s because they really are having a good time together, according to Scott.  He says he knew pretty fast that the chemistry between himself, Andre and Ray was going to work well.

 “I’d met them both before, but didn’t really get a chance to talk until we had a couple meetings.  We chatted about life and the work and the show with Ray and the other producers.  We get along great,” says Scott. 

On the show, debuting Dec. 8, they play “three guys who went to college together and all stayed buddies.  Ray’s character is separated, he runs a party store.  Andre works for his dad in a car dealership.  He’s got three kids and he’s renovating his house.  My character is an actor who has never really quite made it.  He has a temp job to keep free for auditions.  He’s done late night infomercials, B movies.  He has a 25-year-old girlfriend and a 40-year-old girlfriend.  They’re jealous of his lifestyle, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

Scott adds, “It’s Ray’s voice because he wrote the show.  There’s a humor and style to it that’s unique because it’s Ray.  The nature of the show is so free and easy because of Ray’s background.  We do a lot of improv work.  We fell into doing that on the pilot and the more we did it, the happier the network was.  It’s kind of, ‘Get the scene — now let’s just go play.’”

AGHAST IN THE PAST:  Mayim Bialik goes far afield from her comedic image in the forthcoming big screen “Chicago 8.”  The actress, who rose to fame as the lead of “Blossom” when she was a young teen, plays radical activist Jerry Rubin’s girlfriend, Nancy Kunshen, in the movie re-enacting the case of the protestors accused of inciting the tear gas and violence-riddled riots outside the 1968 Democratic Convention.  Says Bialik, “Nancy Kunshen was one of the conspirators, but she was not tried.  Women were not included in the criminal proceedings.  They pushed them aside in 1969.” 

 Proceedings eventually went forward with The Chicago 7 on trial, after Black Panther leader Bobby Seale had his case severed from the rest.  “He didn’t even know the others.  Orlando Jones plays Bobby Seale, who was tied and gagged in the courtroom, if you can imagine that,” says Mayim.    

 Filmmakers “used the entire transcripts of the real trial” according to her.  “Most of the movie is in the courtroom.  A lot of us did it, really, as a labor of love.  It’s a beautiful project asserting our freedom and independence and the right to speak our minds and protest if we find something is not right.”

 Bialik took on her movie part at the same time she started shooting scenes for her January-debuting recurring role in “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” and “I just hoped they wouldn’t overlap,” says the mother of two young sons, who holds a doctorate in neuroscience. 

 Mayim’s also back in funny form in the Nov. 20 episode of the Brad Garrett-Joely Fisher’Til Death.”  The show reunited her with her “Blossom” producer, Don Reo.

 “I’ve actually auditioned for Don before for the show,” reports Mayim.  “They told me, ‘You weren’t right for this role, but Don wants you for a different role.’”  And that role turned out to be…Mayim Bialik.  “I’m playing myself,” she says – as the psychiatrist who sees Doug (Timm Sharp).

 ANOTHER TONGUE:  Maiara Walsh tells us she’s having a blast playing Eva Longoria’s niece on “Desperate Housewives,” but she would like to show off her language skills at some point, especially since she’s playing a Latina.  “My mom is Brazilian so I speak Portuguese and I’m proficient in Spanish so I can understand it.  I’m hoping they’ll let me use some Spanish at some point,” says Walsh.  “Maybe I can pull Marc Cherry aside at some point and ask.”  Sounds bueno to us! 

  FRIGHTFUL DEVELOPMENT:  With “Paranormal Activity” en route to becoming a “Blair Witch” type of phenomenon, get ready for another wave of low – low – budget “docu”-horror flicks.  Casting is underway now for “The Devil Inside,” which has a young woman out to investigate what really happened when three people involved in an exorcism were murdered.  The murderer: her own mother, who she knows to be insane.

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster