Terry Crews, <EM>Everybody Hates Chris</EM> Terry Crews, Everybody Hates Chris

NFL linebacker-turned-actor Terry Crews is having a championship season. Well, sort of. Not only is he returning as Julius, the cheap-but-lovable patriarch on Chris Rock's autobiographically inspired sitcom Everybody Hates Chris (premiering Oct. 1 at 7 pm/ET, on the CW), he's also in Mike Judge's Idiocracy. Unfortunately, due to that big-screen satire's depressingly limited release  just seven markets, and not including biggies such as New York and San Francisco  few will get to see him rule the future White House until Idiocracy hits cable. While Crews is upset about the way Fox buried the movie, he's putting all of his positive energy behind the new season of Chris.

TVGuide.com: A lot has changed for Chris. You're on a new network, on a new night and at a new time. Are you worried?
Terry Crews: Actually, I think this could really work out in our favor since Sunday is the biggest TV-viewing night of the week. Yes, we're going up against NFL football and 60 Minutes, but I'm choosing to look at the glass half full. Our fans have been really faithful to our show, and now we're going to be on in 95 percent of the country as opposed to 60 percent, when we were on UPN. We have a chance to reach a bigger audience.

TVGuide.com: Is anything different in the 'hood?
Crews: On the first episode, Chris' crush, Keisha, and her mom move away to a much better place  Compton [Laughs]  and Whoopi Goldberg moves in next door. She can't stand Rochelle. They both want to head up the neighborhood watch.

TVGuide.com: Is Goldberg's role a recurring one?
Crews: She's shot two episodes already and as far as I know she wants to come back. Wayne Brady and Jason Alexander will also guest-star later in the season.

TVGuide.com: When I interviewed you back in January, you told me that Chris Rock handpicked you to play his father after working with you in The Longest Yard. Is that the movie that jump-started your career?
Crews: Actually, White Chicks was my big break. Adam Sandler cast me in The Longest Yard after seeing me in it. White Chicks changed my whole life.

TVGuide.com: I think that's the first time that sentence has ever been uttered.
Crews: [Laughs] A lot of guys get snooty and won't take certain roles in certain kinds of movies, but the key is to stay active. You have to keep going. I'll play any character as long as I love him.

TVGuide.com: I can see how you would love Julius he's strict but sweet. But in Idiocracy you play Camacho, a nine-time wrestling champion/ex-porn star turned U.S. president. Did you love him, too?
Crews: Oh, I loved Camacho! He's a mix between George Clinton and Bill Clinton with a dash of Lil' Jon. He's stupid, but he's great. When you see this movie you'll understand.

TVGuide.com: The thing is I can't see the movie because it wasn't released here in New York.
Crews: That's horrible! I only just saw it myself, and I had been waiting two and a half years. I ran into [Boogie Nights director] Paul Thomas Anderson at Adam Sandler's Christmas party last year, and he was like, "Oh, my god, it's the president of the United States! Dude, I love this movie!" I thought, "Wow, we're getting so much hype." Then to have Fox dump it like that.... After I saw it, I started to understand why. Mike is unforgiving with [depicting]these corporations. If Fox wants to do any further business with Starbucks, Costco, etc, putting out this movie is going to hurt them. But it's so timely and so wonderful that it's a scandal, a total scandal. Movies that actually make you think are viewed as dangerous. If it weren't for a contractual stipulation, I don't think Idiocracy would have seen the theaters at all. This is as minimal a theatrical release as you can ever get.

TVGuide.com: It's like what happened to It's Pat  except that movie sucked.
Crews: Idiocracy isn't perfect, but it's better than that, and so genius on so many levels. It really highlights the highly sexualized, lowest-common-denominator culture we've become. The film was originally called 3001, but everyone realized we weren't that far off target. Just look at Jackass and Beerfest.

TVGuide.com: May I remind you that you just said White Chicks changed your life? That film's not exactly highbrow....
Crews: [Laughs] Neither is Idiocracy. The lowbrow things Mike rags on are the same things that make it funny. You find yourself laughing, and you wonder, is the joke on me? Am I the dumb guy that they're talking about?

TVGuide.com: I don't know, are you?
I'm still trying to figure that out.

For scoop on other CW series, such as Smallville and Gilmore Girls, read the Ausiello Report in the new issue of TV Guide.

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