Up Close with TV's Hot New Lawyer
has returned home. Having started out on The Bold and the Beautiful
(where she won three consecutive Daytime Emmys in short order), the actress, after a flirtation with NBC prime time, is back on CBS in Close to Home
(premiering Oct. 4 at 10 pm/ET). As prosecutor Annabeth Chase, she will get to the bottom of crimes in the seemingly cozy suburbs while juggling working motherhood and butting heads with her superior (played by Kimberly Elise
). TVGuide.com spoke with Finnigan about her roles past and present, and her future as wife to The Single Guy
's Jonathan Silverman
TVGuide.com: I just watched the pilot and loved it. So did TV Guide's Fall Preview editors, who gave it a thumbs-up.
Jennifer Finnigan: I saw that, and I am so, so grateful for that. My god — what a terrific piece.
TVGuide.com: You went directly from B&B to Crossing Jordan to Committed and now this. You don't let much grass grow under your feet, do you?
Finnigan: Well, yeah, I'm sort of a workaholic. I don't do "nothing" well. I get antsy.
TVGuide.com: How did Close to Home come together with regards to the end of your short-lived sitcom?
Finnigan: Committed had just finished airing, and toward the end we could all see the writing on the wall. The ratings had gone down, it was in an obscure time slot, it was constantly following repeats of whatever sitcom, we were up against American Idol.... It really wasn't given a fair shot.
TVGuide.com: That's a shame, because I know you were high on it.
Finnigan: I was really excited about it; we all were. We all thought it had a strong chance, especially because there's such a drought in the world of sitcoms right now. It was definitely a broad show and [we knew] not everyone would take to it, but we thought that, had it been given time and nurturing.... But it wasn't, so.... [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: And now you're back on CBS, where your career began.
Finnigan: Yeah, that is nice. As soon as I came across the script, I immediately sensed the writing was so strong and Annabeth was a really amazing central character. I was desperate to do it.
TVGuide.com: How will Close to Home set itself apart from other procedurals and legal dramas?
Finnigan: It's definitely unfair to lump it in the procedural category, because it's so much more than that. It has so much heart. It's not just about the law and cases, it's about a woman who's a mother trying to balance her work and her home life. And because she's a new mother, these cases affect her a lot more than she wants them to. Also, it's set in a very rural atmosphere — it could be Anytown, USA. A lot of crime shows are based in big cities, but the point of this show is to illustrate the crimes that happen down the block.
TVGuide.com: Kimberly Elise sure gives you some stern verbal smackdowns. I hope they don't continue off screen!
Finnigan: No! [Laughs] Her character and mine simply do not understand each other. As far as Annabeth is concerned, Maureen is obsessed with work and really has no interest in anything else. She's a total hardass and they have definite trouble relating to one another. Off the set, however, we get along great.
TVGuide.com: I have to be honest, for some reason I thought the series was about you as a working single mom, so the whole episode I'm waiting for a piano or something to fall on your husband (Angel's Christian Kane).
Finnigan: [Big laugh] Not that I know of! Not yet, at least! That's hysterical.
TVGuide.com: I trust he will be given more to do in future episode than flipping an egg timer each time the baby starts crying?
Finnigan: Absolutely. He definitely has his "Mr. Mom" thing going on, much to Christian's dismay. He's used to playing the bad guy, so he's like, "When is my character going to get interesting? When do I get to be bad?" I tell him, "Honey, you don't. The point of you is to be the warm, supportive husband." He's just dying to go bad on us.
TVGuide.com: You made an impression with fans of The Dead Zone last June, guesting as a fellow psychic and love interest for Anthony Michael Hall.
Finnigan: Yeah, I had such a terrific time, and Michael and I have really terrific chemistry, so it was so easy to do. They wanted me to come back quite a bit, and I did go back for a Christmas episode [to air in December], and they basically left it open. They said, "Whenever you want to come back, please do. We would love to have you."
TVGuide.com: How are the wedding plans going?
Finnigan: [Embarrassed] They're not, really. We just don't know exactly how to orchestrate the whole thing. I think with my schedule and everything that's going on right now, it would be really difficult to plan some big wedding.
TVGuide.com: But it is happening, right?
Finnigan: It is definitely going to happen. [Laughs] But truthfully, I am not interested in a really huge wedding. Plus, I really love being engaged! Although I am tired of the word "fiancé" — I'm always like, "I'm just going to call you my boyfriend."