Ray Romano brings his comedy genius and likeability to "Parenthood"

Everybody still seems to love Raymond “Ray” Romano after “Parenthood” producers chose him to help boost ratings for the program’s fourth season that returns Sept. 11 to NBC.

Parenthood’s program website and Facebook page officially welcomed TV comedy veteran Ray Romano this week after the show’s producers announced that the famed comedian will join the cast of Parenthood beginning with the show’s fourth season premiere episode Sept. 11 at 10/9c. It was back in 2004 that Romano became the highest-paid TV actor in history for his role of "Raymond" on the CBS comedy sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” while that same year Romano was rolling in yet more dough as not only the star but producer of this legendary show that also broke the record that year for “having the highest revenue at $3.9 billion.” However, Romano has not had that same success in the wake of Everybody Loves Raymond ending its nine-year run – from 1996 to 2005 - with Romano playing the role of “Raymond Barone” as the lead role in all 210 episodes of the show that’s now viewed as one of the top American TV comedies of all time.

Romano makes the rounds on TV

Romano credits his success as a comic “because my father never hugged me,” the star often quipped during both interviews and when he was a recurring guest voice on the show “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” back in 1989.

Today, the 54-year-old Romano is associated with voicing characters for the “Ice Age” movie series; while back in 2008, he appeared in the unsuccessful TNT television comedy-drama “Men of a Certain Age.

Likewise, fans may recall Romano appearing on NBC’s “The Office” as Merv Bronte, an anxious job applicant interviewing for the job left vacant by Michael Scott. In turn, The Office producers concluded that Romano was not a right fit for the show. However, Romano continued to guest star in other TV sitcoms; playing Nicky – a friend of Mike - in ABC’s “The Middle,” that also reunited him with both his former “Everybody Loves Raymond” wife Patricia Heaton and mother Doris Roberts.

Romano asked to be “funny” on the drama “Parenthood”

More recently, TV Guide’s Aug. 27-Sept. 2 edition explains how Parenthood executive producer Jason Katims created the role of “Hank, a photographer, for Ray Romano.”

In turn, Katims told TV Guide that Hank “is a man of few words who can be a bit of a grouch. When he hires Sarah (Lauren Graham, age 45) as his assistant, it could spell trouble for her relationship with younger boyfriend Mark (Jason Ritter, age 32). Katims then explains how “Sarah relates to Hank in ways she can’t to Marks.”

The Parenthood producers – that includes famed movie director Ron Howard – also brought Romano on board, said Katims, to be funny. “Ray is such a great comedian, it wouldn’t make sense not to lean into that a little,” added the show’s executive producer of this family drama that’s more known for its heart-wrenching and compelling stories than funny sitcom bits.

Romano is scheduled to appear in “at least five episodes,” added the TV Guide update.

At the same time, it was back in February that Romano made news when he revealed how his wife, Anna, “had successfully battled stage one breast cancer.” Romano also told People magazine that “the reason we’re going public is to share our experience, yeah, but to have an effect. Our goal is to help people.”

Romano added to cast brings concern from Jason Ritter

While there’s lots for fans to look forward to with the new fourth season of “Parenthood,” the big news, explained Jason Ritter, 32, who plays Mark on the show, is “the man everyone loves, Ray Romano is coming to Parenthood.”

Ritter, the son of the late TV icon John Ritter, broke the news about Romano on ABC’s “The View” last month; while saying he fears the “Everybody Loves Raymond” star may be “after my job since he’s after my girl.”

The girl in question is TV’s famed “Gilmore Girl” Lauren Graham, 45, who plays Ritter’s fiancée Sarah who may be falling in love with Romano who portrays a famed photographer who is closer to Sarah’s age than the younger Mark.

Romano brings lots of awards and fame to Parenthood

When Ray Romano ended his 9-year-run portraying “Raymond Barone” on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” he racked-up lots and lots of TV awards that said he was America’s favorite.

For instance, Romano won “Favorite Male Television Performer” in 2002; he tied with Kelsey Grammer in 2003, but returned to again being named favorite male TV star in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

He also won “Best Male Actor in a Television Series” in 2001; while also winning both as producer and actor for Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005. Romano also claimed “Funniest Male Performer in a TV series (leading role) for the American Comedy Award in 2002; and award that he said “meant a lot being a comedian.”

Romano joins the Braverman clan of actors on the NBC family drama “Parenthood” when the fourth season of this popular TV series returns Sept. 11 at 10/9c.

Image source of Ray Romano telling jokes during a recent award ceremony. Romano often quips that he would have never made it as a comedian if “my father ever hugged me.” Photo courtesy Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Romano