Blue Mountain State

Denise Richards arrived in New York with ex-husband Charlie Sheen to treat their kids to their first trip to the Big Apple and promote her upcoming arc on Spike's Blue Mountain State — then, as you probably know, she got a little sidetracked.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, Sheen checked himself into a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, while the kids were none the wiser. "All they know is they had a great time in New York, they got to see their first play on Broadway, they went on a carriage ride, they had a wonderful time with Mom and Dad," Richards told TVGuide.com before adding, "Charlie was here with us doing those things."

Richards, 39, says she wanted to fulfill her obligation to promote the show about the on- and off-field antics of a fictional college football powerhouse. "I have a job to do and it's important to me, the show's important to me, and I think it's important to keep moving forward," she says.

Rep: Charlie Sheen hospitalized for "allergic reaction" to medication

The new role marks Richards' return to television since Season 2 of her E! reality show, Denise Richards: It's Complicated, ended in July 2009.

The actress says there are some things in the latest series that are "slightly inappropriate and [I'm] able to get away with a little bit more on this show." Richards's character, Debra, is the meddling ex-wife of head football coach Marty Daniels, played by former football player Ed Marinaro. Her character also has "a little fun flirtation with one of the hot football players."

Check out photos of Denise Richards

Richards has a sense of humor about the kinds of roles she often plays (for example, Wild Things). She recently filmed a Funny or Die video promoting her fun bags— gift bags she gives out at kids' birthday parties. "I always think it's good to poke fun at yourself once in awhile," she says about the mock promo.

Besides Blue Mountain State and partnering with salon owner Cristophe on a hair care line, Richards is writing a memoir that she promises is not a tell-all. 

"I went through a lot in a very short period of time and ... from my experience it doesn't matter what happens in your life. If you're faced with something challenging what do you do to pick yourself up and move on?" she says.

With her current situation, Richards says she's doing her best with shielding her kids, Sam, 6, and Lola, 5.

"The hard part is paparazzi yelling certain things in front of them. I do my best to protect them," she says. "They're young enough to not turn on the news or turn on the Internet and that's what I think is best right now, for it to be that way."

Blue Mountain State airs Wednesdays at 11/10c on Spike.