Ray Romano says he had a "big identity crisis" after his hit sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" ended.
The CBS comedy series ran between 1996 and 2005. Romano, 53, won an Emmy for his role as a patriarch of a suburban family. In 2009, he returned to television full time to play Joe, a divorced father of two who has a gambling problem, on the TNT dramedy "Men of a Certain Age."
The show's second season is set to resume on the cable channel on Wednesday, June 1, after being on hiatus since January.
"When 'Raymond' ended, I was on the top of the world. Cloud 9, money, free time, golf, go places!" Romano told the Associated Press in a recent interview. "And my therapist said, 'You want to start coming twice a week?' I said, 'There are times where I don't have enough to say coming ONCE a week.' Within three months, I was going twice a week."
"Right after 'Raymond,' I had a world-is-my-oyster attitude, but I found out I don't like oysters," he added. "I had this existential emptiness. 'What is my purpose? Who am I?' I had a big identity crisis."
He then teamed up with the show's writer and executive producer, Mike Royce, to co-create "Men of a Certain Age." On the show, Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Brougher play middle-aged men who have been friends since college.
"'Raymond' went off the air five years ago," Romano told the Chicago Sun-Times. "At least people know what I look like now, and they're not surprised when they see me in person. I'm aging, and the world is seeing it. So, when I go back to my neighborhood, I never get, 'Wow, do you look old!'"
Romano also recently guest-starred on "The Office," which has yet to reveal its replacement for cast member Steve Carell, who has left the series after playing the boss since its debut in 2005.
Romano had made a cameo appearance as a candidate interviewing for the position and told the Chicago Sun-Times that he would "love" to be featured on the show again but that he had no plans of joining "The Office" as a regular cast member.