LOS ANGELES – Scott Bakula, husband and father of four, gets a kick out of portraying a feckless playboy at mid-life on TNT's "Men of a Certain Age."
"I don't hope and dream of that other lifestyle, but it's fun to play a character that's living it. I have friends who live it, and I'm happy to let them have it because it's not an easy road out there," said Bakula, who plays Terry on the series that also stars Ray Romano and Andre Braugher.
"It's a struggle for my friends trying to date younger women or find somebody to get married and have a baby," Bakula said.
When TNT's "Men of a Certain Age" returns Dec. 6 for its second season, Terry finds he's got decisions to confront about work, life and growing up as he turns 50.
He's making progress, Bakula said. Shelving his dreams of acting success, Terry is working at the car dealership managed by buddy Owen (Braugher) and trying to adjust to the daily grind.
Terry is "such a mess," Bakula said, but he's trying. A rekindled relationship even tests his womanizing ways.
Bakula, 56, whose credits include TV's "Quantum Leap" and "Star Trek: Enterprise" and the movie "The Informant!", is delighted to be part of a project that he says "felt a little risky." The three middle-age characters at its center aren't the demographic prized by youth-obsessed advertisers.
Romano's clout, the result of his hit CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," is why it's on the air.
"A show like this doesn't get made unless somebody like Ray wants to do it," Bakula said.
He finds irony in its time slot, opposite "Monday Night Football," and notes that women make up a substantial part of the audience for "Men of a Certain Age."
Whether female viewers are looking for middle-age beefcake or insights into their own partners' psyches, Bakula is glad the show has cultivated a following. Bakula said he and his wife, actress Chelsea Field, enjoy watching it together.
Making the series is "just a blast. We laugh so much," he said of his fellow cast mates.
"Men of a Certain Age" may be a ground-breaker with an episode (the Jan. 10 series finale) that includes a boys-gone-wild Palm Springs getaway centered on Terry's 50th birthday — and colonoscopies for all.
A DVD with season one's 10 episodes was recently released, with bonuses including cast commentary, deleted scenes and a gag reel.