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Molly Shannon’s Demon Mom Role Suits Her as Real-Life Mom

Molly Shannon is bracing herself for response to "Neighbors From Hell," the TBS animated series debuting Monday (6/7), about a family of demons living on Earth. Some of the humor — from "South Park" writer Pam Brady — will make viewers blanch (a neighbor has an inappropriate relationship with her suicidal poodle). As for how audiences will react to "how wild it gets? God, I don't know," says Shannon. "That's something I have no control over. I hope it's OK."

The six-year "Saturday Night Live" veteran plays the mother in the demon family that cannot return to Hell until they carry out an assignment from Satan to stop a giant oil drill.

"I thought it was original, just funny," she says, "that this husband and wife demon couple has to disguise themselves as suburbanites, and find the real neighbors from hell are the human beings."

The work also happens to fit perfectly into Shannon's world with her real-life family. "With little kids, it's the perfect job. I really hope that it takes off," says the funny lady, who is also the wife of artist Fritz Chesnut, and mother of Stella, born in 2003, and Nolan, born in '05. "I can take them to school and record in between. Some of this other stuff — the single-camera shows — the hours are not family friendly at all."

Imagine her kids at school explaining that their mommy is a demon... but we digress.

TBS, she says, "just ordered six more scripts," she says, "so we'll see how it goes."

Besides "Neighbors From Hell," Shannon has her recurring character on "Glee" as astronomy and badminton teacher Brenda Castle. "'Glee' is so popular, such a phenomenon — I love that part," Shannon declares. "All the cast is so talented. Doing scenes with Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison is just a dream. I just did two episodes before they wrapped for the season. I have a crazy character; she's a drug addict — she's one of those prescription drug abusers — she drinks too much. She's a bad, bad teacher."

Shannon put her all into trying to make a go of her NBC "Kath & Kim" comedy of 2008-2009. But now, she tells us, "I've really enjoyed not having to work as hard this past year. I love being a mom and spending time with my kids."

DEPTH OF FIELD: The high-stress, high-art, high-friction, high-ego world of A-list celebrity photographers gets the docu-reality treatment in Bravo's June 15-debuting "Double Exposure" — which follows the work of photographers (and former couple) Markus Klinko and Indrani. The team has worked with such famous personalities as Beyonce, Kate Winslet, Lady Gaga, Will Smith and Lindsay Lohan. As the show reveals, they have plenty of personality themselves.

Former model Indrani tells us no two shoots are alike. "Some will come in with very strong visions. David Bowie told us he'd been following our work from the very beginning and he loved what we did, which we found very exciting. He asked us to do things we'd never done before, working in black and white with old-school-style photography solarization. Other times, people come in and they're very open, ready for a total change of their image. It really depends. Sometimes the collaborative process is really fighting for ideas."

"Double Exposure," she says, "is our idea because for many years, people have told us we should have a TV show. We're crazy and hysterical, and there's a lot of drama on our shoots," she admits. "It's because our work is our lives and we're very passionate about it." It's also because "photo shoots are often where people feel the most vulnerable." The stars, she adds, "are just as insecure as you or me or anyone about having their photo taken."

IT PAYS TO BE RICH AND FAMOUS: News that Charlie Sheen is likely to wind up serving half of a 30-day sentence — sans probation — in his plea bargain deal in the Christmas Day domestic violence case involving his wife, Brooke Mueller, would be unsettling enough on its own. Has anyone taken a look at his prior record? But to have it be in the patty-cake Pitkin County Jail? The notoriously cushy spot, where Claudine Longet served her 30-day sentence for misdemeanor negligent homicide in the shooting of skier Spider Sabich back in the '70s, is outfitted with homey comforts from plants and TVs to coed areas where inmates can mingle freely. Not much tougher than the luxury rehab facility Sheen visited earlier this year as a "preventative" measure.

A NEW STAGE: Fred Willard says he doesn't know yet whether he'll be called upon to return to his role as Ty Burrell's dad on "Modern Family." He's certainly not waiting around to find out. Willard has his family on a European vacation. When they get back, "someone is talking to me about a stage show on Broadway. I'm not sure about that. I have to find out more," he says. "I've been wanting to do more theater. We'll see if this is the time."

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.


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