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Patrick Warburton Reconciling Self to Series Fatherhood

Sounds like Patrick Warburton is reconciling himself to fatherhood on "Rules of Engagement." Last season, his series wife, Megyn Price, let us know that she and Warburton had been fighting the idea of their characters adding a baby — even if by surrogate, as the story line featuring Jaime Pressly's character may go.

But now, he notes, "Ultimately, we probably won't get our way. You know, I have four beautiful children in my real world, and Megyn has her family. Isn't it horrible — two parents fighting not to have a child? It could add extra dimension to the show. I guess you get lazy. We've been having so much fun in an adult show."

As he puts it, "I really look forward to coming to work. We sit around, eat and drink — not alcohol — and goof around."

In fact, Warburton stresses that he's never been happier with the CBS series that will launch its fifth season Sept. 20. "I always felt really good about certain element(s) of the show — certainly the cast," he says of the company including Oliver Hudson, Bianca Kajlich and, of course, David Spade.

"I thought it would find itself, and it really did last season. It got sharper. They sort of cleared out some of the cornier, hokier aspects of the show. And adding Adhir Kalyan as a series regular, well, as talented and fantastic as David Spade is, to have someone he can play off so well like this is really great. It's a better, well-balanced cast of six."

But about that parenthood: "I'm sure that's going to be an integral part of what's going on with Jeff and Audrey," he says of his and Price's characters. And it makes sense, he adds, because "one of the elements that really works on the show is that it's really relatable. This couple has been together a long time. It can play well."

SPELLBINDING: With HBO's "True Blood" mastermind Alan Ball having announced that next season will be "the season of the witch" on the ultra-hot hit, no wonder Lauren Bowles is calling her casting as witch Holly on the series "completely surreal. I watched the show from the beginning, so I couldn't have been more psyched about becoming a part of this world. It didn't seem within the realm of possibility. I'm pinching myself."

Bowles' recently introduced waitress character — a "down-by-the-bayou single mom" in addition to being a witch — is becoming more prominent as the show speeds toward its Sept. 12 season finale. Her appearance now is said to be setting her up for next season.

"I know I'm on next year. Beyond that, not much," maintains the beautiful blond half-sister of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. (They have the same mother.) Bowles has been a fan of the show from its beginning. Not only that, but she's signed a confidentiality agreement.

Bowles does want us to know her cast mates were "very welcoming. There was no cliquishness" when she arrived on set. Her biggest concern, she says, was whether she could match their ability to be real in their fantasy surroundings.

Bowles' own surroundings couldn't be much more real — she's in what she calls "Toddlerland." While she's awaiting her next "True Blood" camera calls later in the year, she's focusing on her 16-month-old daughter, Fia (from the Italian Fiammetta — nice alliteration with her husband, actor Patrick Fischler's, last name).

"She's sleeping as I speak. We've just moved into a new house, and with her, everything is a constant discovery, every day. She's so in the moment, the way she takes it all in." And she's an active girl, says Mom. "She was an early walker, about 11 months."

Bowles' upcoming big-screen outing also couldn't be much more different from "True Blood." She's in the Farrelly Bros.' "Hall Pass" with Owen Wilson, Christina Applegate and Alyssa Milano. "My character is a real rich b——. I live in this ridiculous $20 million McMansion. It could be a summer camp, it's so huge." Bobby and Peter Farrelly, she adds, "are such awesome guys. They're so un-Hollywood, so hilarious. They're just like these two dudes from Boston, so unassuming."

THE BIG-SCREEN SCENE: Speaking of the Farrelly Bros., they're in the throes of prepping an untitled wrestler comedy with production set to begin mid-September.

Casting is under way for "Dairy of a Wimpy Kid 2," and they're looking for a "dumpy-looking, out-of-shape loser slacker" and a "clueless rocker who works as a DJ in a skating rink." Now there are some interesting roles to aspire to.

Casting is also going on for the next movie in the "Hellraiser" franchise — "Hellraiser: Revelations," which has to do with the bartering of souls seeking to get out of you-know-where.

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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