This summer, Tom Cavanagh that cute bowling alley lawyer from NBC's Ed leaves Stuckeyville to visit a dark, not-so-pleasant place called Urinetown. Before you pinch your nose in disgust, we're talking about a Tony-winning Broadway musical. It tells the tale of a community suffering the long-term effects of a drought one major problem being that flushing after relieving oneself costs too much money. The upbeat Cavanagh escaped the stench for a few minutes to tell TV Guide Online about working on the Great White Way, Ed's renewal and his romantic hopes for Carol (Julie Bowen) and Ed.
TV Guide Online: How did you explain Urinetown's premise to your friends and family?
Cavanagh: I like to let people just come see it. The title has a way of lowering your expectations, and then exceeding your wildest dreams when you get to see the thing.
TVGO: How did the role of Bobby Strong come about?
Cavanagh: They asked me, but I initially balked at the idea of doing it after I had seen it. Not because it wasn't great, but because I thought it was so good that I didn't think I would be good enough to help it. I always have been sort of opposed to [casting] people of minor notoriety in a Broadway show, rather than just giving it to the best person available.
TVGO: What made you change your mind?
Cavanagh: I asked them if I could audition, instead of just being offered the part. After the audition, they still seemed to want me to do it.
TVGO: Did you ever doubt Ed would be renewed for a fourth season?
Cavanagh: To be honest with you, from the minute that we finished the third season, I always felt that it would be back. When I got the call, it was like, "I know," even though we had never officially been told. None of this is to say that I'm not extremely grateful.
TVGO: The show is also moving back to Wednesdays, which is a great spot.
Cavanagh: I kind of feel that there is an immense sense of wonder being on the air [at all]. I think we would genuinely be happy anywhere even Sundays at 4:30 am.
TVGO: What can we expect next year?
Cavanagh: I'm never one to be coy and tease, but I genuinely don't know what those guys are going to do. But I can tell you personally what I'm hopeful for. I would love to see [Ed writers] Rob Burnett and Jon Beckerman tackle the task of a relationship such as Ed and Carol might have, after having three seasons leading up to it.
TVGO: Are you nervous about a show failing once star-crossed lovers finally get together?
Cavanagh: It's a cautionary tale in the television world that when you bring people together that you just signed a death warrant to your show. I don't believe that. I've never believed that the success of this show was predicated on a will-they-or-won't-they scenario. I truly believe that it has so much other stuff going on, and the main thing I think it has going for it is the writing.
TVGO: You and Julie have great chemistry. Ed and Carol ought to be together!
Cavanagh: She's awesome. I do believe that our chemistry, when put into the arena of a more go-to relationship, would be a really good thing.
TVGO: You've had many Broadway people on the show. Any chance some Urinetown castmates will do Ed?
Cavanagh: My own desire is to get every single one of the Urinetown cast members on Ed this year.
TVGO: Lastly, any chance you'll return to Scrubs as Zach Braff's older brother? Your resemblance is eerie.
Cavanagh: I don't know. I had such a good time on it that if they ever wanted me to reprise that role, I would be more than glad to.