If you were among those NYPD Blue fans impatiently waiting for something — anything — to happen between Henry Simmons and Garcelle Beauvais's lovestruck characters last season, Beauvais feels your pain. Actually, so does her real-life spouse, CAA talent agent Mike Nilon. Admits the actress: "My husband really wants me to get steamier with Henry."

Beauvais may want to be careful what her significant other wishes for. Considering the ABC cop show's penchant for showcasing its stars' derrières (among other private parts), a full-blown love affair between her ADA Valerie Heywood and Simmons's Det. Baldwin Jones can only mean one thing. "Can I tell you? It's coming," she laughs of her inevitable nude scene. "I don't know when, but probably November sweeps."

Well, if ever Blue producers were going to take advantage of their actors' in-the-raw clauses, now would be the time. This fall, the show moves to Wednesday nights opposite NBC's stronger-than-ever Law & Order. "I tell everybody to watch our show and tape them so we get the ratings," cracks the former Jamie Foxx Show regular. "They're both good shows, they're very similar — it's just a matter of what the fans are going to watch. It's out of our hands. We can only do the work and see what happens."

That was Beauvais's motto when she joined the Emmy-winning drama last January. As it is, skeptical critics weren't the only ones who wondered whether the sitcom star (she also appeared on Aaron Spelling's short-lived soap Models Inc.) had the chops to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Dennis Franz. "I was even a little nervous about taking the role, because I know the work is of such high caliber and so different from what I used to do," she admits. "And I knew people would be like, 'Can she do it?' But I think I've sort of risen to the occasion, if you will."