Sarah Chalke is awaiting word on the possible renewal of “Scrubs” with an open mind. If the show does go on, “I would love to be a part of it,” says the funny lady who has played Dr. Elliot Reid for eight seasons.
Word last week was that ABC really is in talks to continue the show — as long speculated — without departing star Zach Braff. “Nothing has been decided yet. From my perspective, we had a blast, such a blast. I loved it. To work on a show where I still feel challenged after eight seasons? And, I love the whole cast. That’s a pretty rare combo,” says Chalke.
In fact, she notes, the cast went out to dinner together the other night, and among the topics discussed was their mutual amazement that the show — challenged by timeslot and network changes, and more — has lasted eight years.
“I think that was really cool. It kept everyone grateful. We were always asking, ‘Is this the last season?’ We never took it for granted, and I think that worked in our favor,” she says. “I loved the whole experience.”
As far as the future? “We just have to wait to see what happens,” she says.
Meanwhile, the actress, who turned up as a recurring character on “How I Met Your Mother” last year, has been busy elsewhere. She has a four-hour miniseries coming up on Lifetime, “Maneater,” from the darkly comedic book by Gigi Levangie Grazer, author of “The Starter Wife.”
“I actually got the script before I read the book, and just devoured it in one sitting,” Sarah says. “It was so well-written and fun, I loved it. And, I loved having opportunity to play a character who starts out as this gold digger — who stalks this guy she’s never even met and decides she’s going to marry him — and then over time discovers what’s really important in life.”
The miniseries “was a challenge in terms of how dense it was to shoot. We’d have a 16-hour day, then I’d go home and have to learn eight pages for the next day.” “Maneater” airs May 30 and 31.
ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: Regina King has logged numerous big-screen credits in the last 15 years or so — from “Jerry Maguire” to “Ray” to “This Christmas” — but as a single mom (her divorce was finalized in ’07), she admits that series work has its own appeal. It was part of what drew her to her role in the sixth season of “24,” and to her current NBC “Southland.” King is playing Detective Lydia Adams in the police drama due to wrap its first seven episodes this week.
“I wanted to do something where I was going to be in L.A. and something where I was not the star, which would require me to work 16 hours every single day. I read this script and it answered all of those things and then more because it came from people who have done great TV and film,” she says of the John Wells series.
“If I didn’t have a child, you could put me anywhere in the world. When you become a mom, that becomes your number one responsibility. It would do my heart disservice if I didn’t follow through with trying to be the best mom. Am I saying that I’m the best mom? No, I’m not, but I try to be,” she notes. “My son is 13, so it’s those teenage years. He’s way beyond taking him out of school and flying wherever I’m working. We definitely do that during the summer, but I’ve found myself turning down things because I’d be away for more than a week and it’s just too long.”
King is also keeping busy behind the camera as she is about to direct her first film. “It’s called, ‘Let the Church Say Amen.’ Right now, we’re in pre-production. I’m hiring the crew and the talent. I just locked in Vivica Fox as one of the leads. It’s a lot of work right, though, because I’m shooting the show and doing this, but I’m really excited.”
ALSO: Speaking of motherhood, ABC’s “In The Motherhood” may have died a quick death — the Cheryl Hines-Megan Mullally-Jessica St. Clair show was pulled after four episodes with two episodes left unaired last month — but at least it produced some fun for Cheryl Hines’ four-year-old daughter.
Hines tells us that little Catherine Rose came to the set quite a bit, enjoyed hanging out in her trailer and watching certain age-appropriate bits being shot. “The scene where I had my face in a doggy door and got licked by a dog — she had a blast watching that,” says Cheryl.
AND: Speaking of juggling motherhood and a hectic professional life, you’ve got to give props to model cum businesswoman/author Kathy Ireland, who has built her lifestyle design firm to more than $1.5 billion in annual sales in a little over a decade. She’s been busy promoting her “Real Solutions For Busy Moms” book in recent weeks, during which she was invited to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange — and guest-hosted CBS’s “The Early Show.”
And, at age 47 she landed back in the People Magazine most beautiful people issue. The designation was particularly significant since Kathy worked hard to restore her famous bod after having gained weight. As you may have seen, she was on the cover of the previous People issue because she wanted to have published the worst photo ever taken of her — one taken by her 14-year-old son Erik, who took it to show his mom that she was letting herself go. Ireland chose to make the “tummy” shot public to demonstrate that she’s as human as anyone, and that women help women by sharing their truth. Elizabeth Taylor was among the women who wrote to thank her.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster