Forgive Julie Bowen if she sounds cocky, but she knew she was a shoo-in for the female lead in NBC's new fall dramedy Ed the moment she auditioned.

"Usually I leave an audition and I go, 'Yeah, I got it,' or 'I didn't and I don't care,'" she tells TV Guide Online. "[But] I left this audition and called my manager and said 'If I don't get this there's something wrong.'"

Well, turns out Ed producers Rob Burnett and Jon Beckerman agreed. But Bowen admits that the chemistry with her leading man, Providence's Tom Cavanagh, was such that the audition was a breeze.

"It sounds so cheesy, but when I met Tom it was really a magical moment," she says. "It was a room full of strangers and I didn't even know which one was the actor. I looked at him and I thought this is good. This is really good because we had instant chemistry."

In Ed, which will air Sundays (8-9 pm/ET), an affable attorney (Cavanagh) loses his job and finds his wife in bed with another man. Opting for a fresh start, he returns to his hometown, woos the most popular girl from high school, Carol (Bowen), and ends up buying the local bowling alley. Adding some conflict will be Gregory Harrison (Trapper John, M.D.), who has been cast as Carol's current boyfriend.

The role marks a bit of a breakthrough for Bowen, who previously appeared in such box office weaklings as An American Werewolf in Paris and Multiplicity. "I haven't had the opportunity to play many completely fleshed-out women," she says. "Often they're the girlfriend or the idealized fantasy. [Carol] starts out as a cheerleader, [but] then you realize there's a lot more going on there."