<EM>Six Feet Under</EM> Six Feet Under
Six Feet Under fans were stunned when the show's main character, funeral director Nate Fisher ( Peter Krause), suddenly succumbed to a brain disease at the end of the July 31 episode. But Krause wasn’t surprised to get killed off. "I kinda knew it was coming," he says. "It'd always been something [creator]

Alan Ball thought about, even from the first season. Initially, Alan wanted to do it in the very final episode. And I was glad that he [decided] to do it earlier, even though it was a strange shift to go from playing a living person to then playing whatever it is when you've passed on on Six Feet Under."

Indeed, no one on HBO's surreal drama ever really dies, so Krause will rematerialize as an apparition in the series' final three episodes. Like his character, Krause's spirit isn't completely at peace: He objected to Nate's seeming inability to learn from past mistakes (e.g., the womanizer was fatally stricken while cheating on wife Brenda, played by Rachel Griffiths). "I started to get frustrated with what I call the Wile E. Coyote-Road Runner Syndrome," Krause says. "You see the same thing happen over and over again without any real forward progress or momentum."

Still, Krause says he'll miss his costars, especially Michael C. Hall (brother David) and Griffiths. Because they're so closely identified with their characters, "it's difficult to find a project together," he says. "Unless Michael and I do The Odd Couple when we're 60 or Rachel and I do Love Letters — which is not going to happen."

In the end, Krause did achieve closure: After his final take, he cued up Bobby McFerrin's cover of the Beatles' "Blackbird" for the cast and crew. "I wanted to have a moment for Nate because we didn't get to do that when he actually passed away," he says. "It's a beautiful song, and since you see a crow fly by when my name comes up in the credits, I thought it was the appropriate song to leave Nate on the stage." Amen to that.