Patrick Warburton Patrick Warburton

Relationships are never easy, especially for the guys and gals of Rules of Engagement. caught up with Patrick Warburton — who plays married man Jeff — to get the scoop on what we can expect from the couples in the new season (premieres March 2 at 9:30 pm/ET on CBS), and what David Spade is like when the cameras are off. What can we expect for this upcoming season?
Patrick Warburton: [Jeff] ends up with a new buddy who is gay, unbeknownst to him, so he has to kind of deal with that. He's played by Orlando Jones, who was fun to work with and a good guy. We also have a new character. His name is Timmy and he's the assistant to Russell. He's very refined and witty and sharp and classy and Spade is on the other end of that spectrum, so you put the two of them together and there's just a great humor and chemistry. So we've opened up the show a little bit. What do you think of Jeff and Audrey's relationship as far as getting under each other's skin?
Warburton: Jeff and Audrey can say horrible things to each other, but it comes from a place where they love and respect each other. Jeff's not a total gripe either. He's also attracted to his wife and that's an important element to keep in there, especially in this day in age where it seems to be harder and harder in society to dedicate yourself to a long-term commitment and integrity to a relationship. It's an honest relationship. You guys seem to have great chemistry on-camera, but what's it like when they're off?
Warburton: Megan and I always think it's funny how many folks seem to comment on the great chemistry we have, including my wife — who couldn't be less threatened. It's just funny because it's kind of like a brother-sister relationship. Do you and David Spade keep the banter going?
Warburton: We can go at it a little bit. Spade seems to be a little selfless in that area. Like, let's say Jeff has a slam on Russell and Spade doesn't think the line is good enough. He'll offer up something else that's even worse, which is ultimately at his own expense! But I don't get into it personally with that guy — he'd probably hand it to me. You do a lot of voiceover work as well. How do you compare that to television work?
Warburton: Neither one has a huge time commitment. If I'm doing voiceover work, then I'm probably getting out to play golf that day, whereas I have a long commute with the show. So it comes down to golf. [Laughs] I love being a part of the animated objects, because it's fun waiting to see how it's going to turn out. But doing this half-hour show is fun. We have a great writing team, and it has such great potential. I'm hoping the network will give it the support that it deserves. Hopefully, this is our year for this one and I wouldn't mind doing it for a few more years.