is trading in his red cape for a blue cap in CBS's new diamond-set drama, Clubhouse
(debuting Sept. 26). The 38-year-old former Superman plays a local baseball star who befriends the team's impressionable batboy (played by Peter Pan
's Jeremy Sumpter
). But Cain, a former football pro, admits that playing an athlete isn't much of a stretch. "I don't have to do anything special but draw on my own experiences," he says. "I know these guys. I know the lifestyle."
TV Guide Online: Are you basing your character on anyone specific?
Dean Cain: I'm taking a little bit from everybody — from people I knew in the NFL and NBA. But some of these guys' lives are just not that interesting. But there are situations that they can find themselves in that are interesting.
TVGO: Is the team on the show supposed to be the Yankees?
Cain: The team is similar to the Yankees. But the field is set in Brooklyn, so it really isn't supposed to be Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium or anything like that. It's a fictional team. We're even changing our uniforms so the Yankees don't get mad at us.
TVGO: What made you want to take this role?
Cain: I thought the script was good and then I heard who was involved with it. Gavin O'Connor was directing and Aaron Spelling was producing along with Mel Gibson. And I thought it was a good way to be on television and not have to work five days a week. I have a 4-year-old son and this project allows me to be a full-time father.
TVGO: Does your son love baseball?
Cain: Oh, yeah. But he calls all sports "baseball." I mean, I really don't think he understands what daddy does for a living. I put on a tie and dress shirt and he says, "Daddy working." He puts on his nice shirt and says, "Me working, too." Then I put on a baseball shirt and tell him I am going to work, so he really can't figure it out. I work so much and he has seen me in so many incarnations that he's like, "My dad's a fireman, a priest, a superhero.... "
TVGO: What does he think of his daddy being the Man of Steel?
Cain: He saw the show once about a year ago. He looked at it for a second. Superman was flying and he's watching it and then Clark Kent comes running in and he goes, "Ah... Daddy."
For more about Clubhouse, pick up TV Guide's "Fall Preview" issue, on sale Thursday.