Amy Brenneman will be spending a lot more time in the courtroom on CBS's Judging Amy in coming months. The show's decision not to incorporate the actress's real-life pregnancy into the show means her loose-fitting judge's robe will be called on more frequently to cover up that expanding tummy.

Still, executive producer Barbara Hall believes all the smoke and mirrors are necessary to preserve the integrity of the series — which features Brenneman as a single mom. "It's a show about a newly liberated woman starting the next phase of her life," she says. "I think putting a newborn baby into the mix would completely change that direction.

"But I knew that Amy and her husband Brad wanted to have a kid, so I was sort of expecting it," she adds. "I just kept telling myself that we had the robe and the judge's desk to bail us out."

Of course, there are some things a robe can't cover up. Amy's character is embarking on a new relationship with a younger man, and Brenneman admits that will be a challenge. "She's going to have to figure out what the rules are for dating a younger man when you're 35 with a 12-year-old daughter," she says. "Are you carefree, or do you worry about being responsible and developing a long-term relationship?"

Brenneman reveals that playing a TV judge has changed her relationship with her own mother — who is a real Superior Circuit Court judge. "We actually talk about cases on the phone," she says. "She'll start talking about something in the courtroom, saying, 'It was really interesting... ' and, then, she'll go on and on — like blah, blah, blah. It used to be that I'd tune out during the blah, blah blah. Now, I'll say, 'But is that legal?' and I actually know what I'm talking about."