By Sandra Gonzalez
April 17, 2012 at 09:55 PM EDT
Colleen Hayes/ABC
  • TV Show

Since Private Practice‘s second season, the show has had a home on ABC’s Thursday nights, paired with mother ship Grey’s Anatomy, but tonight marks the show’s first time on Tuesday night. The shift to a new time slot does not scare star KaDee Strickland — and, most importantly, she doesn’t think it will scare off audiences.

“I personally think we have incredible fans that are very loyal to us, and I don’t think they’re going to mind coming to another night. We don’t mind it,” she says. “It’s one of those things where when the network makes the decision, you roll with it.” And fans should roll with it, too, she adds, especially with the surprises that are in store for the rest of the season.

When we last left the gang, Charlotte and Cooper (Paul Adelstein) were preparing Mason for the worst as his mother’s illness progressed and her condition deteriorated. For Strickland, the heavy storyline has been a welcome challenge she never saw coming — especially following her character’s traumatic rape and the subsequent fallout last season. “I was very grateful to have an opportunity to see another layer of her humanity and her character. After last year, I didn’t know what they were going to do with me because I felt like I had the most incredible storyline you could ever be given as an actor. I thought, ‘Where do you take me from here?'” she says. “And where they took me was a direction I never saw coming.”

In the episodes to come, she adds, the challenges will become greater for the new family. “We’re all born, and we all know we’re going to die. It’s the natural progression of life and death that we’ve seen on medical shows for a long time. I think when you deal with it through the eyes of someone who’s lost a parent, having to be there and be compassionate with this child who is nine years old and going through the same thing, you’re really exploring an interesting story,” she says of Charlotte’s bond with her young stepson.

“What I think the writers have done is really solidify this unconventional family as a real family unit, and we’re all walking through this new territory together. For me to see Charlotte respond to a natural instinct that we’ve never seen her have — for parenting — that, to me, was the most interesting thing they could have given me to do,” she says. “It should be fun, challenging and complicated for [an actor] when playing a character, and that’s what I’ve been for five years. It’s been a real blessing to have Charlotte King be the shoes I walk in.”


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