Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Blair Underwood, <EM>The New Adventures of Old Christine</EM> Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Blair Underwood, The New Adventures of Old Christine
The New Adventures of Old Christine

may be a comedy,

but the season finale (airing tonight at 8:30 pm/ET) promises plenty of drama. Relationships may end, new ones might begin, and there'll be a kiss that could change the whole direction of the show.

Sound ambiguous? That's exactly the point — at least as star Julia Louis-Dreyfus sees it. After revealing a key plot detail, she steps back: "You'd better not [write] that, because it gives it away," she says, laughing. Instead, she offers this: "Something nasty happens."

The nastiness involves a sexual mishap that threatens her burgeoning relationship with her son's teacher, Mr. Harris (Blair Underwood). And that relationship will be sealed with a kiss. Anyone who's been watching could've seen this coming. "I always envisioned it as a romantic relationship," says series creator Kari Lizer. "Blair has such weight, so we started writing in that direction."

The potential new couple is confronted with an unexpected obstacle standing — or possibly crawling — in their way, and every character is affected. The bond between Old Christine's ex- husband, Richard (Clark Gregg), and his girlfriend, New Christine (Emily Rutherfurd), "is a little iffy," Lizer says, "and [Old] Christine has her own, bigger issues with Richard by the end."

In fact, Old Christine's relationship with Richard has never been rockier. "The premise is she has a very civilized divorce, but that does get in the way of her pursuing romantic interests because her ex-husband is around a lot," Lizer says.

But one question can be answered: Underwood will be back next season, and Lizer couldn't be happier. "Blair's a man," she says. "It's a sexy thing and also funny for Julia to play." Louis-Dreyfus agrees: "He's a charming guy, and it's fun to play all flummoxed. It's easy for me to make a fool of myself in front of him. That comes naturally."

If CBS renews Old Christine at next week's upfronts, fans can look forward to further embarrassment. "I'd like to have more humiliating moments," Louis-Dreyfus says boldly. "Humiliation is the word of the day."

Not to mention "nasty."

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