CBS's decision to lighten up Max Bickford is paying off: After a bumpy start, Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss's CBS drama The Education of Max Bickford (Sundays, 8 pm/ET) is enjoying a late ratings surge. Still, Dreyfuss thinks Max's image makeover remains incomplete, and suggests his history professor could use a crash course in Hanky Panky 101.

"I personally am hoping that [he goes] through a stage [where he has] a lot of shallow sex," the Oscar winner jokes to TV Guide Online. "Then maybe he'll settle down with a character... But I wouldn't want to skip the shallow sex part."

Could the erstwhile Mr. Holland be referring to ex-lover Andrea, played by fellow Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden? Perhaps, but he insists their renewed flirtation will remain just that for the time being. "I think the journey is probably a lot more fun than the arrival," reasons the 54-year-old. "What are we going to do... live together? I don't think so."

Because God knows if that were to happen, Dreyfuss laments, the show might as well be retitled The Education of Ward Cleaver. "The central hallmark of... shows like Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver and The Partridge Family was that someone, usually the father, knew what to do and was always able to solve problems," explains the real-life father of three, whose widowed title character is a single dad. "This doesn't reflect my reality whatsoever, and I think one of the nicest things about this show is that we're trying to reflect something else.

"With my children, I am as unsuccessful as I am successful with being a good parent," he adds. "I think that's true of 99 percent of the world, and I think that's what we're trying to achieve in the show."