Viewers of CBS's hit drama The District have heard Craig T. Nelson's character, Jack Mannion, tell tales of his ex-wife, Sherry. Well, on Saturday's episode, they will be able to put a familiar face with the name: Former Designing Women star Jean Smart makes her first appearance as the fiery redhead, and as she explains, sparks will fly.

"Jack was a high maintenance husband, but unfortunately, incredibly bright and charming and brave and handsome and all that stuff," Smart laughs. "So she has a hard time staying unmarried to him. But she's trying real hard. When she sees him, it's really hard to keep him at arm's length.

"It's fun because they set up my character really well," she continues. "He's still madly in love with her, he knows he's going to get her back and all of this stuff. And he refuses to believe that she actually has another life of her own."

Smart — who won an Emmy in September for her guest stint last season on Frasier — points out that Nelson's no-nonsense police chief may have met his match, as Sherry is one of the few people who doesn't wilt when he blusters. "She can be tough," she says. "She can go toe-to-toe with him, [which] is great because you think, 'Gee, potentially this is a part that could come back every once in awhile.'"

Such an arrangement would be fine by Smart, who admits a recurring gig is about all she can handle in her life right now. "I've been offered a one-hour dramatic series, but I have an 11-year-old son and couldn't make that time commitment," she says. "The District is so impressive, and I'd love to be a small part of that team."