Joshua Malina, Big Shots
With production halted on Big Shots (tonight at 10 pm/ET, ABC) by the writers' strike, the penultimate episode airs tonight. Which makes it a good time to assess the series with one of its four leads, Joshua Malina, who's been busy in ways that would be alien to the hapless Karl — "arguably the jerkiest" of the series' four tycoons, admits Malina. The father of two has been preoccupied with "field trips, class plays and being in total daddy mode."

TV Guide: So will Big Shots be renewed?
Joshua Malina:
It's a hot topic among the four of us. I'm doing an ABC promo shoot. I take that as hopeful. We're having so much fun together, it would be a shame to end. If I'm going to work, I'm going to laugh.

TV Guide: Do people complain about how jerky these guys are?
Malina:
They don't get it.... The show is really about how having things — fancy cars and tons of money — doesn't bring you happiness. You have three rich, powerful, good-looking guys — at least the other three are — who strive to repair their broken emotional, personal lives.... [Karl] has regrets; he's made a terrible mistake. He's bad at everything: He's short, unfunny, cheap, bad in bed and unfaithful. I enjoy playing him, but why those other guys want to hang out with him, I'm not sure.

TV Guide: But you really like each other.
Malina:
On a good day, we deal with each other on a seventh-grade level. But really, on an average day, we're at about a fifth-grade level.

TV Guide: You're on your sixth season of [producing] Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown....
Malina:
I've been playing for 20 years with various poker [groups]: Hank Azaria's, Aaron Sorkin's....

TV Guide: You were in Sports Night, West Wing — everything Sorkin's done for TV except Studio 60. We hear you saved his life.
Malina:
[Laughs] In 1989, I was in [Sorkin's] A Few Good Men on Broadway, and we were in a bowling league. He bought a big tray of hamburgers, ate one and choked.... I did the Heimlich, without any finesse. I cracked three ribs. Some say that's why he always casts me, but I hope not!

Check out Joshua Malina having some Big Shots moments in our Online Video Guide.

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