September 02, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT


TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Golden Brooks, Reggie Hayes, Jill Marie Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross, Persia White, Tracee Ross
Kelsey Grammer

After Girlfriends ended in 2008, did you want to go back to TV?
When I left Girlfriends, honestly, I wasn’t thinking about much other than taking a break after eight years on such a great show. But I was sitting down for a meeting with BET, and they started to explain the new direction that BET was going in [with scripted programming]. I felt really excited about seeing a happily married couple on television. I think it’s so rare. It seems like poop jokes and bad marriages are really easy. A happily married couple gives you the opportunity to explore comedy not in your run-of-the-mill way. Then you bring in Malcolm-Jamal Warner and you just think, ”Come on!”

Tell us about your character, Dr. Carla Reed.
She is a woman who finds joy and celebration in all of her quirkiness. It’s interesting to play a woman who’s thriving and to find the humor in the reality of what is happening in her life and not the drama of what isn’t happening. That’s a really fun shift from who Joan [Ross’ character on Girlfriends] was. Joan was unlucky in love and couldn’t accept all of who she was.

You have a pretty sexy scene in the pilot where you’re in lingerie. Do you get nervous doing scenes like that?
I’m comfortable in my body, but I’m not an exhibitionist. What makes a huge difference is I feel very comfortable with Malcolm. Carla and Alex are very attracted to each other — I feel like sexuality can be misused in our culture, and it’s beautiful to see sexuality played out in a committed relationship.

Will you ask your mom, Diana Ross, to guest-star?
I don’t know.

We’d like you to make that happen.
[Laughs] Well, if you write it in the article, that can be the last line!

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