Ricky’s co-starring role in the Western mini-series Lonesome Dove and its sequel, Return to Lonesome Dove, helped in his attempt to be recognized in more mature roles.
His roles as Danny Sorenson on three seasons of NYPD Blue, nurse Paul Flowers in Scrubs, Dr. Dylan West on Strong Medicine, and Mike Doyle on the 2007 season of 24 worked to cement that perception with the viewing audience.
In 2004, Rick Schroder wrote and directed the feature film Black Cloud, a drama about a Navajo boxer. The same year he directed and starred in the music video for “Whiskey Lullaby”, a song by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. Schroeder’s son and daughter also appeared in the video. In 2005 CMT Music Awards, the video won the “Collaborative Video of the Year” award, while director of the video Schroder won “Director of the Year” award.
In 2007, Ricky announced that he was changing his credit back to “Ricky” beginning with his role on 24. In an interview, he admitted that changing his name from “Ricky” to “Rick” at 18, upon prompting by his agent, was a mistake. “‘Rick’ never really fit,” he said. “I tried for 18 years to make it work, and no one wanted to call me ‘Rick’. It should always have been ‘Ricky’. That’s what it always should have been, so I’m going back to it.”
- In 2009, he directed the adventure horror film Hellhounds.
- Schroder guest-starred in a January 2011 episode of ABC’s No Ordinary Family.
- He currently has a reality show project for the US Army.
- In 2013, he starred in a Hallmark movie “Our Wild Hearts.” His daughter Cambrie co-starred with him.