You left your spot as the only Republican on West Wing to play a cop on CSI: Miami, the nearest thing to a surefire hit this fall. How closely does the new show follow the original CSI formula?
Well, as far as I can tell, CSI: Miami is such a day show. I think of CSI as very night-oriented and spooky and dark, but CSI: Miami is heavy-duty, rugged daytime hours. It's some kind of weird irony that they've got David Caruso, who's so redheaded and fair, and me, who's so milk paste. We're like, "Please, just give us a moment's rest from the sun!"
It's such a graphic show. Have you had any real gross-out moments?
They had reconstructed some body parts, and they needed to be kept cool -- we were shooting in the Everglades, and it was very hot -- and the tent with the air-conditioning was also the tent with the food. So there was one table of delicious, wonderful food and one table of grossly horrible, grisly body parts.
Kim Delaney signed on to co-star at the last minute. Were you concerned about being eclipsed by another big TV star?
Well, a lot of people talked to me about that, and maybe I'm naïve, but I honestly believe that it doesn't really matter. She wasn't in the pilot, but she's been in since we started shooting the actual show. And she's lovely.
Will your character get a love interest?
There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of lovin' goin' on. But I want her to have a boyfriend. She deserves to have someone to come home to.